It was a story that made headlines and further cemented the reputation of Toyota as the maker of bombproof (or in this case fireproof) trucks. Allyn Pierce, owner of a truck dubbed @the_Pandra fled the Paradise, CA fire twice in his overland equipped Tundra melting nearly everything except his DECKED system.
Now this Tundra, which has since been replaced by Toyota as well as the DECKED system which was replaced by DECKED, sits in the entryway to corporate Toyota headquarters in Plano, TX.
New York Times journalist Jack Nicas told his story via Twitter, writing: “Then he hopped in his truck with two colleagues and headed for safety. Like many residents in Paradise, they quickly hit gridlock."
“But unfortunately for them, they were stuck in the middle of the fire. Flames licked at the side of his truck, and as Allyn watched other cars catch fire, he thought his was next.”
He continued: “Allyn held his coat against the window – a futile guard from the intense heat – and put on Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes to calm himself. He recorded a goodbye message to his family: ‘Just in case this doesn’t work out, I want you to know I really tried to make it out’.
“Suddenly a bulldozer appeared & knocked a burning truck next to him out of the way. There was some room to maneuver. But instead of going forward toward safety, he turned around & drove back into the heart of Paradise.”
Allyn returned to the hospital, setting up a triage center for the fire's victims on the hospital's helipad. As they watched the fire burn the hospital to the ground, his wife and child safely evacuated, Allyn says he went from "analytical, deal with the situation mode" to reflective. Besides his guitars, lyrics, and pictures the only thing he lost could be replaced with money. He thought "who cares?" when he thought about his house burning to the ground. But his team of workers that he assembled at the hospital would be broken up as they had lost their town and their jobs. He laughed saying that thoughts come to him today when he sees one of his colleagues in nearby Chico like, "What the hell, you're supposed to be on my kickball team." But he says that as long as people keep talking about Paradise, he'll feel like he's ok.
*DECKED refunded the amount of Allyn's first system to the Go Fund Me page set up by friends as well as donated a replacement systemfor his new Tundra.