Haunting footage of a California neighborhood devastated by fire shows a lone mail truck making the rounds from mailbox to mailbox.
Journalist Douglas Thron was capturing video of the neighborhood with a drone when the mail carrier appeared.
“My whole purpose of filming was trying to show the devastation, because this wasn’t a simple, typical fire. This was one that literally looks like a war zone that bombed random sections of miles and miles of the town,” he told People.
As he was filming the destruction, he added that suddenly “I see someone waving at the drone from the truck,” Thron told People about discovering the USPS worker, who wore a face mask.
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San Francisco district manager Noemi Luna provided the following statement to the Mercury News to clarify why the mail carrier delivered the route:
“This is an example of the long standing relationship that has been established between our carriers and their customers based on trust. The carrier in question was honoring a request by a few customers who were being let back in the fire zone to retrieve personal items. A few customers asked the carrier to leave their mail if the mailbox was still standing because they could not get to the annex to retrieve it.”
More than 8,000 homes have burned in dozens of wildfires in Northern California. Authorities have declared a public health emergency because of the presence of household hazardous waste like freon or asbestos.
They were the deadliest and most destructive in California’s history, with at least 42 dead, 100,000 people under evacuation orders and an estimated loss to property of more than $1 billion.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.