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Garbage Collector Gets 93-Year-Old to Safety

Woman on his route was alone in Paradise, Calif., as wildfire approached
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2018 8:41 AM CST
Arissa Harvey, 16, left, and her sister Arianne Harvey sit on the bed of a truck as they drive through their neighborhood n Paradise, Calif. Not much is left in Paradise after a ferocious wildfire roared...   (AP Photo/John Locher)

(Newser) – Amid the awful stories out of the California wildfires come others like this: A garbage collector in the city of Paradise went out of his way to make sure a 93-old woman on his route got out safely. KCRA reports that the unusual rescue took place on Thursday morning, as Margaret Newsum went onto her front porch as her garbage was being collected. Driver Dane Ray Cummings spotted her. "He said, 'You’re not staying here. You've got to get out of here. Why are you still here?'" recalls Newsum. Then Cummings broke protocol, lifting Newsum into his truck with the help of others nearby.

In fact, Cummings' supervisor already had told him to end his work early for the day given the approaching fire, but he knew that a lot of older people lived along it. "I been on that route eight years, and I just picked the people that I knew were older, and I tried to stop and help them and let them know that they were coming and make sure they were getting out," he said. "She was my last stop." Though the Camp Fire destroyed many homes in Paradise, Newsum's wasn't one of them, and she was later able to return, per Cox Media. (Watch a father's harrowing drive to safety with his 3-year-old daughter.)

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