Harrowing phone camera footage brings the life threatening California wildfires in full view. CBS13 in Sacramento aired the footage and spoke to the men who filmed it, Mike Vien and his roommate Leighton Smith. The incident occurred at the Cascade fire, which as of last week had burned over 12,000 acres of land.
Vien and Smith were at the home they shared in Loma Rica, California when the lights began to flicker and they knew something was wrong. “It went dark and then it got really, really bright,” Vien says of their nighttime escape. Gathering their pet dogs and getting into one of their Ford Expedition, the found the fire coming straight at them as they went outdoors. “It didn’t look real, honestly. It looked fake,” says Vien. "It looked like something that should be in a movie.”
“We’re going to die dude, we got to get out of here,” Vien can be heard yelling at his roommate as they get ready to leave. Despite the imminent threat, Vien thought to film the incident on his cellphone. He hopes the footage gives people a better perspective of the fires and shows how fast they move and how dangerous they are.
“My eyes are burning,” Smith can be heard saying in the video. Vien replies, “My eyes are burning too dude but we still got oxygen so we’re not dead yet.” Flames seems to surround the car from all sides, with red hot embers falling down like liquid fire.
“This is our only option dude, we couldn’t have gone back,” Vien explains as the car barrels through the smoke and fire. “It was going to blow right through our house.” Like something out of an action movie, the roommates were intent on survival, by any means necessary. “Come on Expedition baby, you can do it girl,” Vien says, speaking to their car. At another point he instructs Smith, who is behind the wheel, “Dude bust through that f***ing gate if we have to.”
Vien and Smith lost their home and a car to the fire, but are thankful they and their dogs got out alive.
According to ABC News, the Cascade fire eventually claimed four lives and is still bruning, despite being 87 percent contained.