'I'm not going to make it': Paradise nurse makes heartbreaking call to her children while trapped in California wildfire
Tamara Ferguson has recounted the harrowing details of how she was able to escape the wildfires and return home safely
The California wildfires have caused widespread death and devastation, several survival stories have emerged of individuals who have bravely fought for their lives as the flames consumed multiple areas. One such story is that of Tamara Ferguson, a nurse at Feather River Hospital in Paradise, California who got trapped in the hospital as she attempted to help and rescue dozens of patients.
People reports that Tamara made a phone call to her children, assuming it would be her last. On the call, Ferguson said, “I’m trapped in the fire. It’s all around me. I love you." The 42-year-old continued, “You don’t understand. I’m not going to make it, I was the best mother I could be. I’m sorry for the mistakes I made. I’m so sorry.”
Details of how she got trapped and then was rescued have now emerged. After helping many of her patients escape, Tamara boarded an ambulance to escape the spreading fire, but had only gone a mile before the flames forced her group to stop.
She took shelter in the garage of a nearby home along with other medical personnel and hospital patients, including a mother who had just given birth by cesarean section.
When firefighters arrived to relay news about the situation, things didn't look very hopeful. This is when she decided to make a final call to her children. A mother to four daughters and a son, only two of whom are older than 18, Ferguson made the heartbreaking call to tell her kids she won't be returning home.
But just as the people trapped began to lose hope, a firefighter came to their rescue. He instructed Ferguson’s group on how to clear the area around the house and how to wet the roof and fence with water. After much effort, they were able to return to the hospital. Once the fire began to recede Ferguson was able to return home.
Ferguson's story is a rarity, her escape a true miracle. The wildfires have been burning at both ends of California leaving behind vast stretches of ash and dust. The Camp Fire in northern Paradise, where Tamara was trapped, has killed at least 83 people since it started on November 8, state fire officials say.
In the south, the Woolsey fire which began on the same day outside Los Angeles has killed three people. Over 10,000 homes have been destroyed leaving many homeless, and around 500 people still remain missing.
Officials have confirmed that the Woolsey fires have been contained, but the Camp Fire has not been entirely brought to a halt. Official reports as of Thursday said that 90% of the Camp Fire has been contained. It is being termed as the deadliest fire in the state's history and the governor has attributed it to the effects of man-made climate change.