McKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Seven-year-old Adley couldn’t hide her excitement.
After three weeks fighting wildfires in California, her dad was finally home.
A video of her waiting at the door and running out to greet him has received thousands of views on social media.
— mckinneyfire (@mckinneytxfire) September 15, 2020
“Really and truly, that’s what keeps me going: knowing I’m coming home to her, and I get those hugs,” said Quincy Blount, a McKinney Firefighter.
Blount was among the first wave of 44 firefighters from Texas sent to California in August, according to McKinney Captain Ben Jones, who’s been coordinating his department’s volunteers. The number of Texas firefighters assisting in California, he says, swelled this weekend to 234, as the state’s request for relief grew.
“I’ve never seen fires where daylight turned to night,” said Blount, who spent 25 days away.
The smoke is so thick, he says, it blots out the sun.
“At 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I had to use a flashlight to see where we were going and what we were doing,” he said. “I’ve heard the description of apocalypse given out there and yea that’s probably as close as I can say.”
The job is dangerous. He does it anyway, following the same Golden Rule he teaches his daughter.
“If we’re the one who needed the help, I’d want somebody coming to help us, too,” he said.
While her dad was away, Adley had her first day of second grade and cheer practice.
If he returns to California next month, he’ll miss her 8th birthday, too.
“I just don’t want him to go,” he said.
Being away from family, Blount says, is the toughest part of the job.
“That part wears and tears on you,” he said.
But, it makes the welcome home even more sweet and the hugs all the more special.