Husband Searching For Partner In Wildfires Doesn’t Recognise Badly Burned Woman As Wife
A man desperately searching for his partner in the aftermath of the Oregon wildfires was stunned when he spoke to a badly burned woman, only to find out she was actually his wife.
Chris Tofte was driving into the fire to look for his family, from whom he'd been split up.
He told the Statesman Journal that he spotted a woman on the road, dressed only in her underwear - her bare feet severely burned and her hair and mouth completely black.
Telling her he needed to find his wife and son, the woman replied: "I am your wife."
It turned out that Chris' wife Angela Mosso had walked nearly three miles on the hot asphalt after the flames closed in on their home in Lyons.
The family had believed they had time to prepare before the fires would reach them, so Angela had packed a few things while Chris drove to town to borrow a friend's trailer.
But as they slept, ready to vacate in the morning, the Beachie Creek Fire drew closer.
Initially, Angela was able to escape with 13-year-old son Wyatt Tofte and her mother Peggy Mosso, aged 73 - but tragically only Angela survived.
After walking for miles, Angela finally stumbled across her husband as he returned with the trailer, driving through a blockade that was separating him from the fire and his family.
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He was able to leave her with paramedics while he looked for Wyatt, continuing the search the next day and night.
On Wednesday, Chris was told by sheriff's deputies from Marion County that they had found Wyatt and Peggy's remains.
In a statement provided to CNN, the family paid tribute to Wyatt and Peggy and thanked emergency crews for their help.
It read: "Our family is devastated by the loss of our kind-hearted 13-year-old Wyatt and his beloved grandmother Peggy in the Santiam Fire in the early morning of September 8th.
"Wyatt, just the sweetest little boy; loved to fish, played video games, like a lot of kids, just a very sweet polite, boy.
"We want to thank all emergency personnel and people who helped in the search. Our family appreciates the love and support we have received from everyone during this terrible tragedy."
Angela is currently being treated at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital Burn Center in Portland.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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