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Camp Fire survivor and burn victim shares story of survival

A Camp Fire survivor and burn victim shared her story of survival with Action News Now.

Posted: Apr 1, 2019 10:26 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2019 9:55 AM

CONCOW, Calif. - A Camp Fire survivor and burn victim shared her story of survival with Action News Now.

36-year-old Terra Hill has third-degree burns from her waist to her toes. She said the injuries changed her life forever.

"I remember looking down at my feet, my feet melting off,” Hill said. “The skin was off to the side and there was blood everywhere.”

Just before her escape from the fire on Nov. 8, Hill said she was in bed when she saw a glow from her Concow window.

She was a caretaker on the property. She got into a truck with her roommate and tried to drive off.

"We maybe made it 10, 15 feet before it died and the brakes failed and it rolled back into a ditch," Hill said.

The pair got out of the truck and tried to run back to the property to hide in a water tank, but the property was in flames. Her skin was burning off as she ran through the fire. They soon found other trucks parked nearby.

"I started inhaling the air from the truck," Hill said.

Hill and her roommate kicked each other, making sure the other was still alive.

"And the last time I kicked him, he didn't kick me back," Hill said.

She screamed for help and first responders picked her up and took her to safety. She was sent to UC Davis for treatment.

Doctors at UC Davis said she had a 20 percent chance of survival, but three and a half months later, she beat those odds and was sent to the Enloe Rehabilitation Center in Chico.

Hill has third-degree burns from her waist to her toes.

"I will have surgeries throughout the rest of my life,” Hill said. “I will be in and out of the hospital.”

But she said despite her injuries, she will walk again one day.

"I know I will be able to walk again because I don't know how to give up, but my life will never be the same again," Hill said.

Hill's lawyer said she is pursuing a claim through the bankruptcy court alongside several other wildfire survivors.

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A disturbance moved over northern California and the rest of the Pacific Northwest this afternoon. It brought more gusty wind like yesterday, and cooler air, but only isolated rain showers. It will be much quieter this weekend with a late summer warmup.
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