Hospital Evacuates Patients Due To Wildfires, Then Ambulance Carrying New Mom Bursts Into Flames

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

The recent wildfires in California have devastated countless families. For Heather Roebuck, a new mom who’d just undergone a cesarean section when the fire arrived, just being alive with her baby is a miracle.

Earlier this month, Heather had delivered her baby via C-section at Feather River Hospital in Paradise, California, only moments before she learned that the hospital was being evacuated. The raging Camp Fire had reached Paradise. Soon after, it would decimate much of the town.

“I heard over the loudspeaker that they were evacuating the hospital,” Heather told Inside Edition. “I was shocked. ‘Me? Us? Does that mean me? I know I am in the middle of surgery.'”

Heather’s husband grabbed their new baby, Halley, and escaped in his car, while Heather was placed in an ambulance alongside other patients. The ambulance attempted to speed away from the flames — but then it caught fire.

Heather was still numb from the waist down from her surgery. Unable to move, she was positive she’d die there. She managed to call her husband.

“I… said goodbye to my husband and told him that I was sorry I wasn’t going to be there for our kids and I love him and accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to make it,” Heather recalled.

But that wasn’t this brave mom’s fate. The Paradise fire chief, David Hawks, appeared at the ambulance and directed the nurse to escort patients into a nearby garage. They broke in through the doggy door and fireproofed the space as well as they could.

Miraculously, it worked. As the neighbors’ houses burned down, the garage kept Heather and the other patients safe.

Watch the video below to see how Heather and the others survived this devastating wildfire.

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