Peter Lang had to make a choice - save his house in the fire-ravaged hills above Santa Rosa or protect the more than 1,000 animals trapped at his wildlife preserve, Safari West.
The 77-year-old owner of the 400-acre facility on Porter Creek Road didn’t give it much thought.
As the flames got closer, Lang ushered his wife, employees and 30 overnight guests off the hill, grabbed a garden hose and began dousing hot spots threatening his collection of primarily African species, including cheetahs, giraffes and rhinoceroses.
Lang went to check on the animals the next day, they were all alive but his home was destroyed.
Photo Courtesy of The Press Democrat