Milpitas entrepreneur Suraj Viswanathan, who ran for city council in 2018 and 2020, was on the road back from Los Angeles just before 10am on Monday morning when a truck hit a post on the side of the road in San Jose.
This happened along U.S. Route 101. On impact, the truck’s battery exploded, and soon a brushfire was crawling up a nearby hill.
Viswanathan pulled over, along with two groundskeepers from nearby Coyote Creek Golf Course. The three of them pulled fire extinguishers from the groundskeepers’ car and began to put out the flames.
In a statement, Viswanathan wrote, “My eyelids got burnt as well as the hair on my forearms, but I was extremely happy with the effort saving the mountain behind from the raging fire.”
Soon personnel from Cal Fire and the San Jose Fire Department showed up to finish the job the Good Samaritans had started. Meanwhile, nobody in the truck was hurt. But the high wind conditions and dry heat brought the historic Dixie Fire up north, which has by now burned almost half a million acres, to Viswanathan’s mind.
He later told news reporters from KRON4, which aired footage of him battling back grass flames with a shovel, “I did what I could do to be a good person.”
Said Viswanathan in his statement, “I would like to thank all the firefighters who work day in and day out to put fires off. Today I had a firsthand experience on what a firefighter does for a living, and kudos to them all for keeping us safe.”