As flames closed in on her Santa Rosa neighborhood, a pregnant Santa Rosa woman escaped the fire by bicycle – with her daughters in tow.
Charity Ruiz, her husband and two daughters were trying to evacuate from their Coffey Park neighborhood by car when they encountered a traffic jam, according to SFGate. Neighbors were also fleeing the fire.
With the flames approaching, Ruiz told CBS Bay Area, “Honestly, I’ve never in my life felt like I was going to die like that moment. Not just me, but my girls and unborn baby.”
Ruiz went back to the house, grabbed a bicycle with a toddler trailer, and rode out through the fire with her daughters in back – all despite being due the next week.
Never miss a local story.
Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.
“It was hard. I didn’t want to tip over,” Ruiz told CBS Bay Area.
After riding a distance, a good Samaritan stopped and drove them in his jeep to a friend’s house, where they met up with her husband.
Their house was destroyed in the fire and they are now staying with family.
Ruiz’s plans for a C-section in Santa Rosa next week are also in the air, but Kaiser Santa Clara has offered to perform the surgery, according to CBS Bay Area.
And while they haven’t picked out a name for the baby boy, they told CBS there’s a new contender: “Phoenix,” rising from the ashes.