Thigh high: Miguel Almaguer filmed a live segment for NBC Nightly News in the area called Azusa near Los Angeles on Friday as the storms threatened houses in the area
A TV news employee trying to report from the scene of an unstable Azusa hillside Friday got stuck in waist-high mud and had to be rescued.
The man was reporting in the hillside above the home of Dennis Sanderson on Ridge View Drive when he got stuck in the mud. Sanderson aided authorities in the rescue.
According to Sanderson, the news employee had intentionally waded into a pool of mud Friday afternoon to demonstrate how thick it was. A rescuer could be seen using a shovel.
[Updated, 9:46 p.m.: Fire officials said they believe the reporter they helped rescue was Miguel Almaguer from "NBC Nightly News."Almaguer reported live from Azusa on Friday's broadcast with Brian Williams. Almaguer's live shot showed him wedged into a shelf of thick mud that had slid down from the hillside. The mud went up to this thighs.]
After the rescue, Azusa police ordered news media and residents of all 26 homes on Ridge View Drive to evacuate. According to Azusa police Sgt. Sam Fleming, thick mud had poured into the backyards of two homes, rising 2 to 3 feet high.
But some residents were reluctant to leave. Two people called out to firefighters to help divert rising water from their flooded backyards, but firefighters refused, saying the neighborhood was already under an evacuation order.
The residents were later able to divert the water on their own.
The hillside near Ridge View Drive burned in the Colby fire in January.