Catherine Norcross cradled a dog as she carried it into Steele Canyon High School, with flames licking the hill tops and ash falling like snowflakes.
The Red Cross volunteer was taking the dog to shelter so firefighters could drop fire retardant on the area.
This is Norcross' first disaster but she said it won't be her last.
"I just want to give back to the community," said the Spring Valley resident, who became a Red Cross volunteer two years ago.
"I think nowadays people don't care like they used to. We're kind of isolated and afraid to reach out, but we're really all the same."
As she picked out a sandwich after rescuing the dog she was asked why she did this.
"Seeing the people's faces -- making them smile."
---Staff writer Sandi Dolbee