If you're viewing on the ABC10 App, tap here for multimedia.
PARADISE, Calif. — As the Camp Fire bore down on Paradise’s Feather River Hospital, Tamara Ferguson was one of the nurses who had to jump into action to help patients get out.
One of those patients: Heather Roebuck, a mother who just had given birth to her baby Hallie by c-section.
“It was sheer terror,” Roebuck recalled. “They just stitched me up really quickly.”
Roebuck was separated from her husband and newborn daughter so she could be taken in one of the ambulances, along with Ferguson and other EMTs, paramedics and patients. After driving about a half-mile, Roebuck’s ambulance caught fire.
“I realized I’m not going to make it,” Roebuck said. “I told [my husband] on the phone, 'I’m really sorry' — that I just loved him, and that wasn’t going to be there with the kids.”
At that moment, a pediatrician came to the rescue. “He grabbed my backboard, dragged me out on to the street,” she said. “Pitch black.”
With flames encroaching all around, Ferguson, along with the team of paramedics and nurses, decided to move everyone to a nearby home – one of the only homes not engulfed in fire. They moved the patients into the garage, and everyone else go to work protecting the property.
“I see the paramedic on the roof, spraying down the roof,” Ferguson recalled. “I see someone over here with a hose filling buckets. Chrissy is sweeping, someone with a shovel, I picked up piles of brush and cleared them to the road.”
The fire came right up to the fence surrounding the home, but miraculously went no further.
“I watched home across the street, the house next door, watched it on fire,” Ferguson said. “And I’m just standing there.”
Eventually, the fire passed over. They were able to get back to the hospital, and eventually to safety.
“I like to think of us a piece of a puzzle,” Ferguson said. “We were a piece and when we put it together we were complete. We did what we needed to do to survive.”
As for Hallie, Roebuck says she’s her miracle baby.
“She’s the last baby born at Feather River Hospital, hopefully not forever,” Roebuck said. “A lot of times, that minute I saw her, I thought was going to be the only time I ever saw her. That she would never know me. It was really, really tough.”
Watch Now: Episode 7: "Fighting to Rebuild." Even with insurance, the road to recovery from losing everything to a wildfire can be a long one. Over a year later, residents of the Coffey Park neighborhood in Santa Rosa are still fighting to rebuild their lives.