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  1. ITV Report

Nurse drives through deadly wildfire to set up makeshift triage in devastated town in California

Patients being evacuated from Feather River Hospital in Paradise, California. Photo: AP

A wildfire devastating areas of California has killed at least 42 people, displaced hundreds and led to the evacuation of thousands of people.

One nurse who could have escaped the deadliest blaze in the state’s history but decided to turn around and save those left behind is Allyn Pierce.

He manages the intensive care unit at Feather River Hospital in Paradise – a town that has been badly hit by the wildfire.

Pierce helped evacuate patients as the blaze swept in before deciding to escape with his colleagues.

His daring experience was documented by New York Times reporter Jack Nicas.

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Pierce drove through the violent flames before eventually hitting traffic.

Fearing for his safety, he "put on Peter Gabriel’s 'In Your Eyes' to calm himself and recorded a goodbye message to his family: “Just in case this doesn’t work out, I want you to know I really tried to make it out.""

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Luckily for Pierce, a bulldozer knocked out of the way a burning truck blocking his route.

But instead of driving on to escape the wildfire - he decided to turn around and help those left behind in Paradise.

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When Pierce arrived back at the hospital, he and other emergency workers started a triage in the hospital car park.

They were forced to relocate after the hospital caught fire - everyone made it out safely.

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Pierce told reporters that the triage "was a massive group effort -- and that they weren't heroes."

“This is what we do,” he said. “Any nurse, any healthcare worker, any cop, they were there and they all did their jobs.”

His story has now been shared widely on social media - and even caught the attention of Toyota after he drove people to safety using one of their vehicles.

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