Great news: The Mt. Diablo fire is 90 percent contained, and the firefighters whose wedding bands were ripped off while they were battling that blaze are going to get brand new rings.
NBC delivered the news this afternoon that Steve Padis, who co-owns Padis Jewelry in San Francisco with his wife, Judy Padis, jumped on the chance to replace the stolen goods that were lifted from a Walnut Creek fire station Sunday shortly after fire crews were called out to battle the roaring wildfire.
"We just want to make them whole," Steve Padis said after hearing of the "horrific" theft. "They are protecting our lives and property. How could someone steal from our heroes?"
The burglar broke into Fire Station No. 7 Sunday evening and took two wedding rings, a watch, a wallet, cash, and the captain's iPad, perhaps knowing the firefighters would be gone for more than 24 hours fighting the Mt. Diablo inferno.
Padis said he'd be delighted to replace those wedding bands, at any cost. "If we don't sell a ring, we'll make it," he said.
The story of the brazen theft went viral across the country, prompting good people everywhere to act. Brian Teeman, an El Sobrante resident, created a fundraising site called "Show Love to Walnut Creek Fire Station No. 7!," which as of Thursday afternoon had generated $440.
Also, out of nowhere, a random person walked off the street and delivered an iPad to the firefighters while NBC Bay Area was there reporting on the story.
Needless to say, firefighters were reportedly "stunned" and "humbled" by the pure kindness.
"It's outstanding," Contra Costra County Fire District Inspector Steve Aubert said. "It just rebuilds your faith in the public's appreciation of what we put on the line."