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Jesse, Colton and Rocklin Firefighters - photo Jesse Taylor

Detwiler Fire: We Got To Meet The Heroes Who Saved Our House

Written by Jesse Taylor —

MARIPOSA COUNTY — These guys pictured above are a few of our new friends from Rocklin.

I say that wholeheartedly. They came into our lives in a most miraculous way.

We were evacuated early on, being in the Bear Valley/ Hunters Valley area. First we headed for the Guadalupe area, but when we had to leave there, we got a motel room in Merced. That’s where we met our heroes — a group of firefighters from the Rocklin Fire Department.

This fire has been such an emotional ride for all of us. At one point after we had evacuated, there was a need to do a backfire from our home.

My truly phenomenal friend Jacqueline Griffith sent us a photo of our home, protected as the backfire was about to be performed. She let us know our home was in great hands.

The next morning, I was walking my Yorkie Emma near the motel in Merced, and she gravitated towards a group of tired firefighters resting. One of them grabbed her up and gave her “loves.”

We began chatting, and I thanked them for saving our homes. I mentioned the backfire and one finished my sentence with, “Yeah, that was our area.” My eyes welled up and I said, “My God, you really DID save our home.”

I hugged each and every one. Their eyes too welled up, yet a smile beamed ear to ear! Repeatedly thanking them one by one, I asked if our son Colton could meet them.

They made such a fuss over him. They brought him stickers, let him check out the engines and run the lights.

Colt made them a picture and taped it to their truck. They later came over to thank him and told us they were posting it in their station.

They posted his photo on their Facebook page with this beautiful message:

“Just when crews on the Detwiler Fire were about to hit the wall, they came back to the engine after getting supplies and found this taped to the door of the engine. A much needed pick me up! Thank you Colton!”

One of the Rocklin firefighters told both Dean and I, “Thank you so much.” Why, you ask? Because our place was cleared well, had defensible space, and it was a safe place for them to stage a command area, which made their jobs easier.

I am posting a few photos of our heroes (wishing I could have gotten the whole crew), and a photo of our home being protected (photo credit Jacqueline Griffith).

These firefighters gave our animals water from their engines. They even went out and gave them feed one day.

There were so many different heroes. So many to thank. Animal control helping rescue pets, feed and care for those animals in need. Sheriff Doug, our local department and other emergency entities that came out to protect properties, and safely perform evacuation operations. The media keeping us informed every step of the way. This county has been so blessed.

We also want to thank those brave dozer drivers and the crews from Mt. Bullion who were out there cutting line and clearing brush. Those guys really were busting tail!

This experience was as much an emotional connection for the Rocklin firefighters as it was for us. People often wish they could have had an opportunity to thank their heroes personally. As it turned out, WE were a first for them.

They had never met people they had actually protected in another area. They visited with us twice during our journey. They made time and we could just feel the connection.

I feel like God really had a hand on us every step of the way. Starting from the phone call I received from my cousin Michael Hogan alerting me to the fire (who, by the way, did our weedeating), my cousin Emma who babysitted our furbaby Velcro so he’d have a place to be and we could all remain together with Colt’s grandparents and our other furbabies.

We had great friends and emergency agencies who cared for our livestock that could not be evacuated. Then the amazing coincidence to be placed in another city in the same place as our heroes!

May every journey for our heroes be protected — For every firefighter, for every emergency entity!

It was truly an honor and delight to meet each and every one of them. Their families must be so proud. We will never, ever forget you guys.


Above all… thank you God for my ability to tell you our story and to have a home to go back too. I know there were many who were not so fortunate, and I pray for those whose outcome was different.

With Gratitude and Humble Sincerity,

Jesse Taylor, Dean Adams and Colton Adams

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