90-Year-Old Doctor Who Escaped Camp Fire, Now Worries About His Former Patients

California Connection
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PARADISE -- A 90-year-old former physician, who narrowly escaped flames as he evacuated his Paradise home, is now sharing his story of survival.

Gerald Maguire, along with his wife and son, drove to safety as flames surrounded their car.

Maguire, the former Paradise psychiatrist who served his community for more than 60 years, is concerned many of his former patients may not have made it out safe.

Though, Maguire is now safe with his family, he says many people in his town didn't have help from family or transportation.

Now as the death toll and those missing continues to rise - Maguire fears it may be some of the people he treated.

Gerald Maguire designed his dream home more than 60 years ago

“Nothing remains. It’s just sad. Some twisted metal,” said Maguire.

The former physician, who recently retired, remembers a sign out front -baring his last name.

A sign that’s now unrecognizable, along with the home that once stood just a few feet away.

“I sort of prepared myself, living in a high-risk area, on what to do,” Maguire said.

But as the fire closed in on his town, it was something no one could prepare for.

“The alert I got was a neighbor calling my wife just before she left,” Maguire stated.

Maguire frantically braved the roads to escape while his son and wife drove behind in a different car, eventually abandoning that car as their gas ran low.

The family drove in bumper-to-bumper traffic with flames just feet away.

The safety of his family wasn’t the only thing on Maguire’s mind. “Many of my patients were on disability. Unable to care for or take care of themselves,” he said.

As the Camp Fire death count continues to rise, Maguire worries that some of his former patients, many who were mentally and physically disabled, may be among those found dead or still missing.

“We barely made it and you wonder how in the heck did they make it,” said Maguire.

While he’s now safe at his son’s Folsom home, his heart will always be in Paradise; a place he fears will never be the same.

“We are so grateful that they are all accounted for,” said Angelene, Maguire’s niece.

“If it comes back it’s going to be a very different town,” stated Maguire.

Maguire’s son says he's thankful he was there to help his father and mother get out of the home although, he says the family lost countless family heirlooms that had been passed down from generation to generation.


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