Early Monday morning the wildfire began to rage through Santa Rosa in Northern California. The fire caused untold devastation to houses and buildings all throughout Wine Country. People have died and homes have been lost and the scariest part is that it all happened so fast. A lot of people have completely freaked out, while others have stepped up to the plate and helped their neighbors in this time of need. Tom Welch sprung into action and saved his family as well as his neighbors before heading back to his house to try and save it from the wildfires.
The fire was moving fast in the Coffey Park neighborhood of Santa Rosa and so was Tom Welch. He told his wife to grab their teenage children and flee while he hung back and helped everyone else evacuate. Instead of running away with his family, he went house to house kicking in people’s doors and helping them flee the fire.
Tom has a lot of experience doing this, considering he is the chief of the Mill Valley Fire Department and he showcased just how great of a firefighter he truly is.
Tom wasn’t just helping people flee the wildfires, he was also helping fight the flames with the Santa Rosa and Windsor firefighters. He helped save countless people and also saved eight homes from being burnt to a crisp. Unfortunately, Tom was not able to save his own house as it succumbed to the flames, but he was able to save his family as well as his neighbors.
He had helped save people from their homes for three hours before he made his way back to the house in which he and his family lived. At that point, he realized that the flames could not be held back and his house was definitely going to get burnt. He was upset about this, but he was moving so fast that he didn’t have time to sit and dwell on the fact that he was going to lose his house. He still had more people and homes to save.
The next day Tom Welch marveled at how the entire neighborhood was just leveled. Who knows how bad the wildfires would have been without his help. He was very sad to see his house had been reduced to rubble, but his loving wife reminded him that he still had family and that was more important than any house could ever be.
Mayor Jessica Sloan of Mill Valley quickly commented on the actions of Tom Welch calling him “a hero” which are words that Tom Welch won’t soon forget.
Tom didn’t want to take all the praise, however, he spent his time in the limelight thanking the first responders that were just as big of heroes as he was. Not only is this awesome fire chief a hero, but he’s modest too. Now that is truly something special and the world is a better place for having people like Tom Welch living in it.