La Jolla

Stranded La Jolla Woman, 87, Brings Treats to Firefighters Who Gave Her a Lift

A San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Captain says helping the La Jolla woman was one of the most rewarding moments he's had on the job

NBC Universal, Inc.

An 87-year-old woman who stranded for hours by a taxi company was given a free ride home in a fire engine thanks to San Diego firefighters who noticed she was in distress.

The woman was so grateful for their help that she wanted to thank them in person with a big bag of sweets, so NBC 7 helped make it happen.

“It was a long time I was waiting for that cab. If it wasn’t for you, I’d be there all night," La Jolla resident Sandy Lightman recalled telling San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Captain Jordan Buller on May 10, the night of her "rescue."

Lightman may have needed a fire engine to haul the three dozen cookies and four cheesecakes back to Capt. Buller and the Station 35 crew on Monday.

Lightman said she'd just finished one of her daily trips to a nursing facility where she cares for her husband Lenny, who's living with dementia.

She started requesting a cab around 8:20 p.m., but it didn't show. So, she kept calling.

Hours later at 11 p.m., while on another call to the facility, Buller and his crew recognized Lightman's distress.

“She was frantically trying to call family and call a cab and we could tell she was distraught," said Buller.

“I can’t walk that well, and I was only two-and-a-half blocks from where I live but I was afraid to go on the street by myself. I didn’t know if I’d make it home," she said.

Since the cab was an apparent no-show, Buller and his team loaded Lightman into the cab of their engine. They strapped her into the jump seat and even gave her headphones to wear for the trip.

“It felt so secure, it made me feel so good because they were helping me and I knew I was safe, because I was afraid," said Lightman.

Back home safely, the 87-year-old woman says she's thankful NBC 7 was able to help track down the station who treated her with such kindness so she could spoil them with some sweet treats.

Lightman and her husband Lenny will celebrate 40 years of marriage next week.

NBC 7 twice reached out to the cab company Lightman tried to call but hasn't heard back.

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