In a viral video posted Thursday evening, dad Joe Allen is heard singing to his three-year-old daughter, Olivia, to keep her calm as they drive through the blazing wildfire plaguing Northern California, known as Camp Fire. The shaky cellphone footage shows the packed highway lit up by streaks of orange flames, as Allen and his family evacuate their hometown of Paradise.
“Baby, it’ll be alright,” the dad of two sings to Olivia in the back seat, when she exclaims, “There’s so much fire here. We’re gonna get on fire.” Allen expertly navigates the falling embers and smoke, promising his young daughter, “Hey, guess what? We’re not gonna catch on fire. We’re gonna stay away from it and we’ll be just fine, OK? We’re doing all right.”
At the end of the video, when the duo finally make it safely through the wildfire, Olivia gushes, “You did it!” To which her dad sweetly responds, “We did it together.”
This was us leaving paradise not even an hour ago headed down skyway. I want everyone to know how much I’m thinking of you guys who are still trying to merge out of town. More than likely we won’t be coming home to our house, and many others won’t be as well. I’ve been updated, the hospital is on fire, and all of this breaks my heart. Please everyone get out safely. ❤️https://www.gofundme.com/camp-fire-damages?fbclid=IwAR3m5TegfQn1K6cfGTZ3B1jShxMWAQDC8mKSA2EcisuhZ2v-wv-DxG_T78Ihttps://www.gofundme.com/allen-family-fire-funds
Posted by Whitney Allen on Thursday, November 8, 2018
Wife Whitney followed close behind in a separate car with the couple’s other daughter, eight-month-old Jordan. “[Joe] was of course worried. At one point we both thought we weren’t going to make it out,” she admits, adding that her husband’s past military experience helped keep them both calm.
And despite the harrowing trip and potential loss of their home, Mrs. Allen remains grateful, telling KTVU, “As our lives drastically changed today, we are reminded what is most important. Tonight we celebrated Olivia’s birthday because even though we lost everything today and so did my family… we didn’t lose each other and that is truly what matters.”