A California news photographer became part of the story on Sunday when he helped firefighters rescue a group of goats as the massive Clayton Fire rapidly advanced on a home
Noah Berger, a freelancer shooting for the San Francisco Chronicle, told the newspaper’s SFGate website.
Only about 10 minutes passed between the moment Mary Henderson first saw smoke and ashes rising from behind her neighbor’s house to the second when she, her husband, their three little girls, and six goats they were able to grab, drove away from their Lake County home.
The family was confronted with an impossible situation, and was forced to leave 10 other goats at home so that they could drive to safety.
“We tried to get the goats but they were so afraid, trying to hide and running away from us — they wouldn’t go with us,” she says. “My husband [Bobby] ran around and started opening pens but things behind him were catching on fire. We got the pens open so the goats could at least run, and then we had to get in the car and drive away.”
Berger says the firefighter came back with a goat in his hand, yelling for help to pass someone the animal in his arms. Berger quickly obliged, and took the first animal he was handed. “[The goat] was really hot,” he remembers, “and I didn’t have my gloves on so it was really intense.”