ALPINE, Calif. -- A man who made sure about 20 horses escaped the West Fire shared the frantic moments before the rescue.
Nick Krysinski and his horse "Al Capony" were captured on video walking away from the fire, but what was not caught on camera were the heroic minutes leading up to that moment.
“I feel, honestly, like I just did the right thing,” Krysinski said.
Krysinski and his wife have spent many hours on the Campbell Creek Ranch caring for horses, and it is where their's -- "Al" -- had been staying. So, when they heard about the West Fire moving through, they could not just sit back and watch.
“I was just trying to help some horses, probably being a little dumber than I should have,” Krysinski said.
Krysinski said when they got to the ranch it was already engulfed in flames.
“Within probably three feet of one of the horses, Lucas, that’s where the flames shot up in front of me. So I couldn’t grab him, and I ran back up because the mobile home started sparking up and these guys had to drag me up the ravine because the fire was kind of getting me a little bit,” Krysinski said.
The couple then rushed to get their truck and then blew through a law enforcement barricade.
“We flew down there, smashed through the fiery entrance of the ranch, drove straight through the flames and everything, all the way up to the barn,” Krysinski said.
After seeing the barn up in flames, a little hopelessness started to set in.
“The horses were screaming because they were trapped in their pastures and they were starting to light up in the stalls,” Krysinski said.
Risking their lives, they got out and opened the stalls to free the horses, and then went to check on Al in his stall.
“The roof was on fire and the sides were on fire and even around him inside was on fire. So I just kind of flung the door open,” Krysinski said.
Then out came Al. After officers saw the horse and his owner walking away from the flames, Krysinski said they let volunteers in to help get the other horses out. All of them made it out unharmed.
“It’s a miracle,” Krysinski said.
On top of previous abuse, this now marks two fires Al has survived.
“He’s a fighter for sure, and honestly after caring for him for awhile, I understand why nothing has taken him down yet. When he goes it will be on his term in a long time from now,” Krysinski said.
Krysinski said the horses are not the only ones that made it out alive -- so did the goats and barn cat.