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Remarkable story of hero nurse who drove through heart of California wildfires to set up makeshift hospital

Allyn Pierce drove through the wildfires to help his patients (Gofundme)

A campaign is raising money for a heroic nurse who drove through the heart of the California wildfires to evacuate hospital patients from the deadly blaze.

Allyn Pierce manages the Intensive Care Unit at the Feather River hospital in Paradise, the town devastated by the fires that have killed at least 44 people.

Allyn, whose home was destroyed in the wildfires, drove his truck along burning roads to ferry patients to safety.

Along with his colleagues, the nurse also set up a makeshift treatment centre in the grounds of the hospital. They broke into the hospital to retrieve equipment and treated around 25 people.

Hospital beds and other equipment sit in the parking lot outside the Feather River Hospital. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Patients are evacuated from the hospital in Paradise, California (AP Images)

Sharing the campaign to raise funds for his family on Facebook, he wrote: “I struggled posting this, but with my house gone and my hospital… I don’t know where my job sits. I’m gonna swallow my pride and post this GoFundMe that a kind person in Chico set up for us.”

He added: “We will be fine, it will all work out, because if has to.”

Shocking pictures of Allyn’s burned truck were widely shared on social media as the story of his heroism emerged.


Images show the melted plastic and crumpled metal of the vehicle, as well as the view of the flames from inside the truck.

The damage was done as Allyn initially drove to try and escape the fire, before turning back and returning to the hospital.

A campaign is raising money for Allyn and his family

The wildfire in Northern California is now the deadliest in the state’s history.

Authorities reported 13 more fatalities this morning as the search for bodies continued with hundreds of people still unaccounted for.

Victims were found in burned-out cars, in the smouldering ruins of their homes, or next to their vehicles, apparently overcome by smoke and flames before they could escape.

In some cases, there were only charred fragments of bone, so small that investigators used a wire basket to sift and sort them.

Paradise was a popular retirement community, and about a quarter of the population was over 65.