'Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!': Body-cam video shows sheriffs deputy braving flames
SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. - The Sonoma County Sheriff Department released body camera video taken Sunday night as officers responded to raging wildfires.
Footage shows a sheriff's deputy braving flames to rescue a disabled woman and get people to flee from a lethal wildfire that has already begun devouring a Northern California community.
"Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!" Sgt. Brandon Cutting yells at one point to drivers who are hesitating and moving slowly as they flee the area, which is lit up orange with flame and so thick with smoke it's difficult to see.
The deputy, a 13-year-veteran, wheezing and coughing, runs to several doors shouting "sheriff's office!" for anyone who may be in earshot.
He then comes across another deputy with a woman in a wheelchair right next to a house that is burning and lifts her into an SUV to take her away.
Back in his car, he appears to drive straight through the flames at one point as he tries to help evacuees to safety.
Sheriff Robert Giordano announced 19 fatalities in Sonoma County from North Bay wildfires at Friday's news conference. As many as 1,485 missing persons have been reported with 1,250 located safe, making 235 outstanding cases. Officials are still working through communications issues to resolve these figures.
The Sheriff also said Alexander Valley north of Healdsburg is under mandatory evacuation.
Giordano addressed why people could not return to their homes, if they are standing, because the potential danger is ongoing. PG&E is in the process of restoring power and AT&T is restoring phone service. He encouraged people to stay out of the evacuation zones and to stay away from the burned areas especially with winds expected to pick up again.
He said he couldn't believe how fast the fire spread after watching the body-cam footage.
No deputies were injured in the video taken from the Mark West area of Santa Rosa Sunday night.
He said the looting reports in his area have not been significant, but five looting suspects were arrested. He added that he had not heard any reports of arson linked to the wildfires.
Warning: Raw body cam video contains graphic language