Vallejo (KCRA) -- Firefighters battled howling winds in Vallejo on Sunday when a fast-moving fire swept through the California Maritime Academy and destroyed several vehicles in its path.
The smoke and flames were so thick, they shut down portions of Interstate 80 and the Carquinez Bridge, where Laura Allen was driving home to Sacramento with seven service dogs in training in the back of her car.
The Canine Companions for Independence had just been evacuated from Santa Rosa because of the massive Kincade Fire.
Allen said she was in the her car when the flames in Vallejo surrounded her and the dogs.
“We were going over the bridge, and as we got up, we saw the smoke -- and the flames just erupted very quickly,” she described. “It was very scary because the smoke was very thick and ash was covering our car."
She knew she had to move quickly to save the service dogs, each one valued at $50,000.
“The flames just jumped the freeway,” Allen said. “It was on both sides, so we really couldn't escape that way. So, the only option we had to do was a U-turn on the bridge."
Allen turned just before the toll plaza and eventually made it home to Sacramento with all seven dogs safe from harm.