As you all know, the campfire in Butte County, California, is continuing to devastate the northern part of the state. It has burnt down many houses, caused millions of dollars worth of destruction and taken the lives of many.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection released a statement on Wednesday the 14th of November saying that the campfire is both the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.
However, as we have shown many times on our page, when great tragedies happen, we hear about true stories of love, kindness, and heroism. In times of heartache, we find humans pulling together to help others in need.
Today we’d like to share the story of a Californian garbageman who defied his supervisor’s wishes and continued to do his route to look out for any elderly or vulnerable people.
Dane Ray Cummings was driving his normal Thursday route on the 8th of November. His supervisor told him that he should not continue to work as the fires were starting to spread.
But Dane told his supervisor that he needed to go and check on the elderly residents on his route. But he didn’t know if there would be anybody left who may need retrieving.
Dane Ray Cummings continued his normal route to make sure the elderly residents had either left or were leaving.
I been on that route eight years, and I just picked the people that I knew were older, and I tried to stop and help them and let them know that they were coming and make sure they were getting out.
Garbageman saves an old lady from the California wildfire
Dane checked up on 45 to 50 people before pulling up to Ms. Margaret Newsum’s home. Margaret Newsum is 93-years-old and her Thursday morning was like any other. She woke up, made her oatmeal and turned on the television to watch the news.
She had heard about the quickly approaching fire and she started to become quite anxious about how she would manage to get to safety.
Margaret stood outside on her front porch in the hopes that a good Samaritan would arrive and have space in their vehicle for her. As if her prayers had been answered, moments later, Dane’s truck pulled up to Margaret’s house.
I went out and was standing on the front porch when this great, big, green monster drove up, and my dear friend was emptying the garbage. And he said, ‘You’re not staying here. You’ve got to get out of here. Why are you still here?’
Cummings soon found out that Ms. Newsum had no nearby family or any way of evacuating her home. At that moment, Dane abandoned company protocol and he lifted her into his garbage truck and drove her down the hill to safety.
Over the next five hours, the two got to know each other a little more while they joined the hoard of other people fleeing their homes.
He learned my history from the time I was born until today.
Margaret told Dane about how she managed to beat cancer three different times, how she flew into an 18-wheeler while hang-gliding when she was 70, and about the times she sang backup for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.
Margaret has lived quite a life in her 93 years on Earth. She was even a witness to the Pearl Harbor attack!
I was to be married, and my future husband was in the Marine Corps. All I remember is the first bomb that hit one of the ships, and the apartment that he rented for me was right at the bay. And I went out to see what it was, and this Japanese plane came over. He was so low that I could see the pilot.
Dane had no idea that the little old lady he saw every week had such a fascinating backstory. Over the years she would offer Dane homemade cookies and ask him how his day was going.
I wish I’d known her when she was younger. I would’ve married her, you know what I mean? It was the best conversation I’ve had in a truck ever.
We’re just so glad that Margaret Newsum got out safe and that the two have become even firmer friends.
Watch as this garbageman saves an old lady by ignoring his supervisor and continuing his route in the video below. Also, at Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section. 🐝