When 'hell moved in': The story of a California nurse who drove through fire to save lives - where to get mylar
When Elin Pierce arrived at his job last Thursday morning, the sky in California's Paradise was burnt orange and covered with haze.
A few hours ago, there was a wild fire in the area, and the fire was crossing the town of battertown at an amazing speed. Now, at 8 a. m.
They are threatening the Seventh-day Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, where Pierce serves as a registered nurse and ICU manager.
Pierce and his team moved quickly and used ambulances to help evacuate dozens of patients in the hospital. By 9:30 a. m.
He and his two colleagues were the last to evacuate.
They squeezed into his white Toyota Tundra, less than a mile south, and then drove east on the wooded Pearson Road.
A year ago, Pierce bought the tundra and spent many easy weekends revising what he called the "dream truck ".
After a few months, it has bigger wheels and tires.
The market was suspended, with a new grill and an imposed ladder rack on the truck bed.
The metal cut of a panda welded to the car suggests the truck's nickname: "Panda.
Now Pierce is relying on the "panda" to rescue him safely from the burning town.
However, he quickly found himself stuck in a standstill and stuck in the ranks of other vehicles as the fire burned the forest on both sides of Pearson Road.
An abandoned train blocked his left.
In order to calm his passengers, piercing the "Deadpool month" of the soundtrack, fast
Forward Celine Dion's ashes-"Well, I guess, we won't do that"-and identify Peter Gabriel's in your eyes.
"In your eyes, light, heat . . . . . . I am complete . . . . . . " They sang together.
But Pierce was in a panic.
"I'm calm because I'm a nurse and that's what we do," Pierce said in a telephone interview with The Washington Post . ".
"But I was scared . . . . . . I really think I will die.
"Around them, the smoke grew stronger and stronger until they could hardly see the outline of a fire truck parked on his right.
Two of Pierce's colleagues rushed out to take refuge with firefighters who covered their windows with protective Mela blankets.
"I knew it was bad at that time," Pierce said . ".
Pierce sat alone in his beloved pandali.
In the distance, he could hear the sound of an explosion in a propane tank.
He watched the car catch fire around him, "like wood or something.
At this point the sky has changed from angry red to almost dazzling neon gray, with flames licking the sides of his truck.
An unforgettable acoustic version
The next truck compartment was filled with Ha's "Take Me ". “Take on me . . . Take me on . . . I’ll be gone . . .
A day or two . . . . . . Pierce tried to defend against the heat with his jacket.
He recorded a short farewell video for his wife and two children, then hid the phone in whatever he could find, faint hope that it would not be damaged by the fire.
Then he waited.
Then he suddenly heard an unexpected voice.
Pierce said: "The Bulldozer came out of nowhere and knocked down the burning truck next to me.
Pierce was stunned and left his place and turned to the hospital in east ridge of heaven.
Until today, he did not know the exact reason, although he believed that his family had left the town safely that morning and was able to think more clearly.
To his surprise, the hospital was still standing about an hour after the initial evacuation.
In addition, dozens of firefighters, police officers and other first aid personnel gathered there to take care of newly arrived patients from nearby areas.
Pierce and others entered the hospital to collect supplies and set up a triage area outside.
Soon the parking lot was like an emergency room with food, IV bags, wheel beds, wheelchairs and seating areas.
"This part is easy," Pierce said . "
"This is the purpose of our training.
"Within a few hours, the group tends to have patients who breathe in smoke, who suffer from more serious diseases.
On one occasion, the hospital itself was on fire and they had to move the operation further to the helipad. Around 2 p. m.
Firefighters told them that the roads were unblocked again and that they could try to evacuate for the second time.
"My real gain is how everyone works together," Pierce said . ".
"A complete lack of self.
"Pierce jumped back into his truck and drove south from the hospital this time.
The second RV can leave town without any problem.
When he was reunited with his family, his children burst into tears.
"They all ran to the truck and cried," Pierce said . ".
"They don't know what I will be like.
It was not until later that Pearce examined in detail the damage to the tundra: heat had welded one of the back doors.
Although the light itself still works, the backlight cover has partially melted.
The parts of the Hood have been twisted and the previously polished white doors are burnt in the gradient to make them look like bonfires.
Pearce posted a photo of the vehicle on Instagram, after a while shamelessly adding the label # perfectmarshellow.
"This truck did save my life today," Pierce wrote in the title . ".
"My Paradise town is really burning around me. @ the_pandra let me help others safely . . . . . . Twice.
A few days later, Toyota USA's official account replied to Pierce on Instagram and said they would be "honored" to give him a brand --new Tundra.
"We found this on social media over the weekend," Toyota spokesman Nancy Haber told The Washington Post . ".
"We quickly came to the conclusion that we just needed to replace his truck.
He's a hero. we need to do that.
Pierce knew that brushing off the label "hero" was almost as old as the label known as "hero", but he quickly attributed his team to himself.
"We are all called heroes.
I won't refuse, I just don't want to be listed as a hero alone, "Pierce said.
"I'm with a lot of great people.
It's great to be one of them.
Although Pearce said his family was lucky to have family members living together in the neighboring area, he felt heavy about the utter destruction of his hometown and those who still needed help.
The fire has killed at least 56 people as of Thursday, and authorities say 130 people are missing.
However, officials expect that number to increase as they search for the ruins left by the rapidly raging wildfire in heaven.
"It was a sunny day at first, and then hell moved in," Pierce said . ".
"I wake up in the morning and sometimes I get destroyed.
I fell asleep and saw the fire.
I'm ready to finish.