As firefighters battle deadly wildfires across Northern California, families are frantically searching for missing loved ones.
One of those people is 28-year-old Christina Hanson. The woman, who uses a wheelchair, lives in an apartment next to her father’s house in Santa Rosa, California.
Her father, Michael Hanson, somehow made it to a hospital. But the family hasn’t heard from Christina since early Tuesday.
Christina called Michael Hanson’s ex-wife around 1:30 a.m. and told her she saw flames. She was frightened because she couldn’t reach her dad, said Christina’s aunt, Cathy Riordan.
As flames rose, neighbors told the family they grew concerned and called 911 to the property. But no one knows for sure what became of those emergency calls, Riordan said.
“I’ve called every hospital in the area. I’ve called all of the shelters. I’ve called everybody that would take my call. I’ve called everywhere I can think,” she said.
The family believes Christina’s father may know what happened to her. But he’s in a medically induced coma and the family has not been able to visit the site of the home and apartment on Wikiup Bridge Way.
Michael Hanson, 55, suffered third-degree burns on over half his body and was at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital before it was evacuated, Riordan said. Sutter tried to transfer him by helicopter to San Francisco for treatment at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital’s burn center, but smoke prevented the chopper from taking off, Riordan said.
Instead, he was sent by ambulance to Sonoma West Medical Center, where he was put on a breathing machine so he could make the trip by ambulance to Saint Francis’ Bothin Burn Center. When he arrived at the burn center, doctors tried to take him out of his coma in the hopes he could provide information to help find Christina. But his pain was too great, and family and doctors decided to keep him in the coma, Riordan said.
Riordan believes her brother was injured trying to help his daughter. As the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office works to find Christina, Riordan said she is confident she’ll be found.
“I know that’s how he got burned. [He] was trying to save her.”
Correction: This story has been updated to give the correct spelling of the last name of Christina and Michael Hanson.