An aerial view of the Tubbs Fire destruction of the Coffey Park neighborhood in Santa Rosa on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Hector Amezcua The Sacramento Bee
An aerial view of the Tubbs Fire destruction of the Coffey Park neighborhood in Santa Rosa on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Hector Amezcua The Sacramento Bee

Local

This pregnant mom cycled her kids to safety during Santa Rosa fire

By Kalin Kipling

kkipling@sacbee.com

October 13, 2017 05:45 PM

UPDATED October 14, 2017 07:57 AM

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.

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“It was hard. I didn’t want to tip over,” Ruiz told CBS Bay Area.

Mike & Charity Ruiz Disaster Relief https://t.co/gL1ukTHzGj

— KevinIvey (@KevinPIvey) October 10, 2017

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.

Donate to the family here; see how to help all fire victims here.