A “selfie” from an exhausted California firefighter sent to his wife to let her know he was OK has become an Internet sensation.
The photo shows firefighter Tim Bergon in the foreground smiling while his exhausted colleagues take a moment of rest behind him as they battled the Cocos fire near San Marcos in San Diego County.
After it was posted on the Facebook page for Plan 9 Alehouse Escondido with the caption “Thank you!!!” it was “liked” more than 34,000 times and shared hundreds of times over.
The story behind the selfie was first reported by CBS8 in San Diego.
In the photo, one firefighter is seen sitting back against a utility box, another lies on his side resting his head against his arm in the dirt, and another is sitting up leaning back on his arms, his hands on the pavement.
“When you see how exhausted they are, it just makes you really, really grateful for all that they do, and all they always do,” Monica Calles, owner of the restaurant, told CBS8. “It touched us, so we passed it on.”
The post sparked a wave of messages and comments of appreciation. Facebook users posted notes like, “Thank you for your hard work. You saved my daughter’s house,” and “Amazing work!! Thank you for all the homes saved, including mine! Please hug a fireman!”
The restaurant offered free food to firefighters all last week as thousands battled more than a half-dozen wildfires fueled by dry brush and pushed by Santa Ana winds. The Cocos fire – where Bergon took the selfie – was 87% contained Monday after burning nearly 2,000 acres, officials reported.