• Garbage collector saves 93-year-old woman from California fires

    By: Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    MAGALIA, Calif. -

    A garbage collector picked up a 93-year-old woman Thursday who was left home alone as ravenous fires spread through Butte County.

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    Margaret Newsum’s caregiver had already left for the day and hoping she would be seen by someone passing by, she waited on the front porch for help.

    Shortly thereafter, Waste Management driver Dane Ray Cummings drove by. He was told about the fire by a supervisor who wanted him to stop working, but Cummings wanted to finish his route. 

    "I been on that route eight years, and I just picked the people that I knew were older, and I tried to stop and help them,” Cummings told KCCI. "She was my last stop. I probably went to 45 or 50 people to see if I could help them."

    Cummings broke company rules and loaded Newsum, who had no family in the area, into the big, green garbage truck. They were together in it about five hours as other people evacuated the area. 

    Cummings learned that Newsum overcame cancer three times. She was hit by a semitruck after hang gliding when she was 70. Her whose husband was in the Marine Corps, witnessed the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Most incredibly, Newsum said she also spent time as a backup singer to Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin

    "I wish I'd known her when she was younger. I would've married her, you know what I mean? It was the best conversation I've had in a truck ever," Cummings told KCCI.

    She returned later, the Camp Fire, which has become the most destructive in California history, had not reached her home.

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