Scary video shows Santa Rosa CityBus rescuing elderly residents - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Scary video shows Santa Rosa CityBus rescuing elderly residents from raging fires

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SANTA ROSA - The details of the widespread, tragic Wine Country fire last October are still emerging, and with them are more stories of heroic rescues.

One new story comes from the The Press Democrat with video shot onboard a bus fleeing fires on the morning of Oct. 9, 2017. Videos recorded onboard the buses are usually saved for three weeks and automatically erased, but this one had been preserved, and the Press Democrat waited seven weeks for the Santa Rosa CityBus system to respond to a public records request

As the publication tells it, Steve Roraus, operations manager for CityBus, reacted to a 2 a.m. call to help evacuate and transport elderly residents from the Brookdale Fountaingrove Center, with help from people who appear to be nurses and medical professionals caring for them.


Roraus compares what he saw to "a big witch's cauldron," adding "these were really fragile folks (on the bus); the expressions on their faces — they were terrified."

The drive shows Roraus searching for a way out of the proliferating fires, even driving by Coffey Park, a neighborhood that was found completely leveled when the smoke cleared.

"There wasn't a house that wasn't on fire," Roraus said of what he saw there. "I was just stunned. I thought, 'What the hell happened out here?'"

Roraus estimates CityBus drivers helped evacuate almost 400 people.

The fires in Northern California burned an estimated 245,000 acres, leaving 44 fatalities and 192 injured. The Tubbs Fire, which these residents were fleeing, was the deadliest, killing 22 people.

Original story:

Press Democrat