- Allyn Pierce, a nurse who lived in the destroyed town of Paradise, California, drove through flames to help victims of the Camp Fire.
- He originally tried to flee the fire, but got stuck in traffic as the truck he was driving melted, he told The New York Times.
- When he suddenly got free, he turned around to help victims at the hospital.
- Toyota offered to give him a new truck, but Pierce is still struggling to get back on his feet.
As the Camp Fire obliterated the entire town of Paradise, California, Allyn Pierce got stuck in traffic trying to flee.
Flames surrounded his truck, he told The New York Times. He tried to calm himself by listening to “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.
“I was like, ‘I think I’m done,'” he told The Times. “I just kept thinking, ‘I’m going to die in melting plastic.'”
Then a bulldozer suddenly appeared, pushing away a truck blocking him, he told The Times.
But instead of continuing to flee, Pierce, a registered nurse, turned around and sped toward the hospital, where he manages the intensive care unit.
There, he and the two other nurses helped set up a triage center in the hospital parking lot and started treating patients, which included fire victims as well as people who were previously staying at the hospital.
The hospital building burned to the ground.
Ultimately, authorities cleared the path and everyone in the hospital was rescued, according to The Times.
“This is what we do,” Pierce said. “Any nurse, any healthcare worker, any cop, they were there and they all did their jobs.”
The Camp Fire has already killed at least 42 people and is still not contained.
Pierce’s truck sustained heavy damage. Parts of it melted in the heat.
Toyota, which manufactured his car, offered to give him a new one.
Pierce, who is now safe and with family, told The Times the experience was traumatic for him. He said on Instagram that he wasn’t sure what to do with his house and hospital gone.
There is a GoFundMe to help him and his family get back on their feet.
“It’s completely traumatic,” Pierce told The Times. “When I close my eyes at night, I see fire.”
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