42-year-old nurse makes a harrowing call to her kids while trapped in the California wildfire

Manuela Cardiga
Nov 27, 2018
04:59 A.M.

A mother of five trapped by the California wildfires made one final call to her children.


The disastrous California wildfires have left the State reeling, with tens of thousands left homeless and billions of dollars worth of property damage. But perhaps the highest cost has been in human life, with at least 84 fatalities, and 475 people still missing.

Tamara Ferguson was one of the lucky ones. The 42-year-old woman became trapped in the midst of the deadly Camp Fire in Paradise, California, reported People.com on November 22, 2018.


“I’m trapped in the fire. It’s all around me. I love you. (...) I’m not going to make it,"

Tamara Ferguson, People.com, November 22, 2018.


Ferguson worked as a nurse at Feather River Hospital in Paradise, and when the evacuation of the hospital was ordered, she stayed behind some 45 minutes to help the last patients leave the disaster area.

Ferguson left in an ambulance with some of her patients and other members of the hospital staff, but the group cut off by the fire.


Battling through the unbearable heat and smoke, Ferguson and her companions cleared the area around the house, wet the roof and fenced the undergrowth with water.


The group, which included a new mother who had just given birth by Caesarean section, sought refuge from the fire in a garage. A firefighter arrived and explained that there was no possibility of exiting the area or escaping the fire. And that was when Ferguson called her children



Ferguson explained her situation to her children - 4 daughters and a two-year-old son - and told them that she might not survive. She told them that she loved them, and apologized for her failings as a mother:

“I was the best mother I could be. I’m sorry for the mistakes I made. I’m so sorry.”



Under the firefighter's instructions, and battling through the unbearable heat and smoke, Ferguson and her companions cleared the area around the house, wet the roof and fenced the undergrowth with water. They managed to keep the encroaching fire at bay until the blaze was under control.

The Camp Fire which came so close to killing Ferguson started on November 8, 2018, and though it is 90% contained,it is still not extinguished. The 2018 wildfires are considered the deadliest and most devastating in California history.



The savage wildfires that ravaged the Golden State and killed dozens of people have also victimized countless animals. Many were wild creatures trapped in the burning forests, and to these are added thousands of pets left behind as the population was forced to evacuate their threatened homes.

Laci Ping thought she would never see her beloved cat, Mayson, again. Mayson had escaped from his cage as the family was forced to flee their burning house:

'When the fire broke out, the entire house behind us was engulfed in flames. The firefighters were yelling at us, telling us we had to leave now. Leaving the cat behind was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make.'


Fortunately for Ping, Mayson still had his full complement of nine lives, and he made it through the blaze. He was rescued and taken to the veterinary school at UC Davis.

There, Ping was joyfully reunited with her pet. Mayson is still at the center since he is being treated for severe burns on his paws, but his loving owner is looking forward to taking him home soon.

The center is sheltering 258 cats, 188 dogs, 76 chickens, 41 birds and five rabbits rescued from the wildfire.

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