Superheros fill our screens monthly, but most never expect to meet one in reality. However, the Zavala family did! Their neighbor, wearing a Superman t-shirt, alerted them of a deadly fire, saving their lives! This is the story of an incredible, real-life hero…
The California Fires
Earlier this month, many devastating fires broke out across the state of California. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first, or last, time. The state’s yearly wildfires have become a massive threat to residents in recent years. They suddenly appear and spread quickly, burning down acres of land and property in the process. This results in thousands and thousands of Californians needing to evacuate. Even worse, the fires often result in harm, or even death, to humans and animals alike.
At the beginning of November, a raging fire began near Highway 18 and Lower Waterman Canyon in San Bernardino. The high winds caused the fire to move towards homes, fast. Ultimately, six of the houses burnt down. Luckily, the families fled beforehand – all thanks to one real-life Superman. In incredible footage, captured by one family’s doorbell camera, the entire world watched how one man saved his neighbors’ lives before the fire reached them.
The Fateful Night
Living in San Bernardino, the Zavala family is very familiar with preparing for fire evacuations. When mother Marcy and Henry Zavala, above left, put their four children down for the night, everything seemed fine. However, as the family slept, a fire erupted outside and quickly spread to their house. The flames were just a half away from the Zavala’s home when the family awoke to loud knocks and yells at their door at 2 A.M. It was their neighbor, Paul Peterson, wearing a Superman shirt and screaming at the top of his lungs.
In footage from their doorbell camera, you can hear him scream: “Henry! Henry! Come On! Get out! Get out of here!”
“As soon I heard the knock, I knew it was a fire,” said Marcy. “I looked outside to see how close it was to see how much time we had, and it was a lot closer then I could have imagined.” Still, Peterson remained relentless. He did not leave the family’s doorstep before he knew the family heard him.
“He Is Superman!”
Without question, Paul Peterson saved his neighbors’ lives. Luckily, the fire claimed no lives and did not even injure anyone. Still, the blaze, which moved at a terrifying 60 miles per hour, destroyed six homes and damaged 18. However, the toll would have been much higher without Peterson’s help. In fact, first responders managed to save the Zavala’s house, even though the family initially thought they would never see their homes again. “But the San Bernardino fighters are [also] superheroes they saved this neighborhood!” Marcy wrote.
The Zavala family evacuated their home quickly, and are all safe. Due to the evacuation, they didn’t get to thank Peterson until a few days later, when they returned home. Marcy fell into tears, thanking their real-life Superman in an interview with Inside Edition. “I just thank god he gave us enough time to get out of here,” she said and hugged Peterson. “He is Superman!” she concluded with a smile.