A husband desperate for his family in an Oregon fire said he was unable to recognize his wife because she was badly burned, as it was revealed that their 13-year-old son died clutching his dog.
Chris Tofte talked about the heartbreaking moment when his wife Angela, who is now in critical condition in the hospital, told him “ I’m your wife ” as he helped her into the car and told her he was looking for his wife, the missing son and mother-in-law in the Santiam Fire in Marion County on Tuesday.
The couple’s son, Wyatt Tofte, 13, died in the fire Tuesday after huddling in a car with his dog to try to escape the roaring flames.
At least 29 people have been killed in the devastating wildfires that continue to ravage the west coast as Oregon officials prepare for a “ mass deadly event ” after 10 percent of the population was forced to flee their own houses and two large fires threaten to merge around the most populated part of the state.
Chris Tofte (pictured continuing the search for his son Wyatt on Wednesday) spoke about the heartbreaking moment when he was unable to recognize his wife because she was badly burned, as it was revealed that their 13-year-old son died while holding his dog
Wyatt Tofte (pictured) was killed in a fire in Oregon this week after huddling in a car with his dog to try to escape the flames
Wyatt (pictured in an undated image) died Tuesday in the Santiam Fire in Marion County, along with his 71-year-old grandmother, Peggy Mosso (center). Wyatt’s mom Angela Tofte (left) is in critical condition with burns all over her body
New details have surfaced about Wyatt and Mosso’s horrifying final moments and the Tofts’ desperate rescue efforts to try and find their loved ones alive as flames raged in the neighborhood they lived in.
Grieving mom Angela was so badly burned that her husband Chris didn’t recognize her when he passed her on his frantic search to locate his missing son, wife and mother-in-law.
Chris told the Statesman Journal he was driving to the fires looking for his family around 4am Tuesday when he saw Angela on the street.
She was wearing underwear, her bare feet were badly burned, and her hair and mouth were black, she told the outlet.
He stopped to help her get into the car, but her injuries had rendered her unrecognizable from her usual self and he didn’t realize she was his wife, he said.
When he told her he needed to find his wife and child, she replied, “I’m your wife.”
Angela and Chris survived but Wyatt and Mosso were consumed by the flames and their bodies discovered by rescue teams later this week.
Their devastated family broke the silence to tell how the teenager’s parents desperately searched for their son as flames ripped through the neighborhood they lived in. In the photo Peggy Mosso (left) and Wyatt Tofte (right)
Mosso (left) and Wyatt (center). The family spokesperson said they believe Wyatt ran and scrambled inside the vehicle with his dog to try to escape the roaring flames. Mosso was found dead in a separate car that was engulfed in flames while Angela, Mosso’s daughter, desperately tried to save her from the fireball, suffering burns all over her body.
Chris Tofte hugs a friend as they search for his son Wyatt Wednesday who hasn’t been seen since the fire ravaged the area on Tuesday.
Chris conducts a search Wednesday for his son who was missing at the time. His body was later discovered by research teams
Chris talked about the heartbreaking moment Angela told him “I’m your wife” as he helped her by telling her he was looking for her missing family.
The father is seen on the phone after receiving news of Wyatt’s death Wednesday in Lyon, Oregon
The devastated family told CNN that “kindhearted” Wyatt’s body was found in a car with his dog Duke on his lap.
“After a lengthy search for Wyatt, he was found in a car with his dog on his lap, but unfortunately he couldn’t escape the fire,” a family statement said.
The family spokesperson said they believe Wyatt ran and scrambled inside the vehicle with his dog to try to escape the roaring flames.
The boy’s grandmother was found dead in a separate car that was engulfed in flames while Angela, Mosso’s daughter, desperately tried to save her from the fireball, suffering burns all over her body.
The family paid tribute to Wyatt and Mosso and thanked the emergency teams for their help in the search.
“Our family is devastated by the loss of our kind 13-year-old Wyatt and her beloved grandmother Peggy in the Santiam Fire early in the morning of September 8,” the family statement told CNN.
“Wyatt, just the sweetest child; he loved to fish, he played video games, like many kids, just a very sweet and polite boy.
‘We want to thank all the emergency personnel and people who helped with the search. Our family appreciates the love and support we have received from everyone during this terrible tragedy. ‘
Oregon firefighters work behind warning tape in Mill City, Oregon on Thursday as they continue to fight the Santiam fire
On Thursday, firefighters extinguish the embers of the Santiam fire in Mill City. At least 29 people have been killed in the devastating fires that continue to ravage the west coast
A charred swing and car are seen after the Santiam Fire passes through Gates, Oregon on Thursday. Oregon officials are preparing for a ‘mass deadly event’
The charred remains of the Gates Elementary School, which was used as a resting ground by firefighters, after the Santiam Fire tore through it
At least eight people have been reported dead in the Oregon fires, though authorities have yet to confirm official figures and dozens are missing.
Marion County officials said Friday night that rescue teams had found two other victims of the Beachie Creek fire near Salem.
Another victim’s body was found in a house near Goodpasture Road in Vida after the Holiday Farm fire spread to the area.
Fears are mounting that the death toll could rise much higher as Oregon’s director of emergency management, Andrew Phelps, warned that officials are “preparing for a mass deadly event.”
“We know we are dealing with fire-related deaths and are preparing for a mass deadly event based on what we know and the number of structures lost,” he said.
More than a million acres and thousands of structures were destroyed by dozens of fires across the state that sent 10% of residents en masse to flee their homes.
The Bobcat Fire burns trees in the Angeles National Forest on Friday in Monrovia, California
Heisson volunteer Elizabeth Stoltz waters the garden at Fort Vancouver in Vancouver, Washington on Friday
Oregon Governor Brown said on Friday 500,000 Oregonians were in some sort of evacuation zone – a slight reminder of a statement released last Thursday by the State Office for Emergency Management that said half a million people he had been ordered to evacuate statewide.
Dozens of people have gone missing in Jackson County in southern and Marion County, where a fire continues to burn east of Salem, Brown said at a news conference Friday.
On Friday, hundreds of firefighters battled two major wildfires that threatened to merge near the most populated part of the state, including the Portland suburbs, causing the city to declare a state of emergency on Thursday.
National Guard troops and correctional officers moved about 1,300 inmates from a women’s prison in a southern suburb of Portland “for an abundance of caution,” the Oregon Department of Corrections said.
Spokeswoman Vanessa Vanderzee said Thursday it took 20 hours to transfer inmates to another prison in a safe area.
In California at least 20 people have died and at least one has been reported in Washington state.
Four people have been arrested for arson for deliberately setting fires along the west coast as states already grapple with dozens of deadly fires.
Michael Jarrod Bakkela, 41, was arrested Friday and charged with arson for starting a fire in southern Oregon earlier this week as the area was already struggling with the deadly Almeda Fire. Anita Esquivel was arrested and jailed in Monterey County Jail on arson charges for starting fires in California
Two men in Washington state, a man in Oregon and a woman in California are charged with arson, authorities said.
Michael Jarrod Bakkela, 41, was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of arson, 15 counts of criminal acts and 14 charges of reckless danger for allegedly starting a fire in southern Oregon earlier this week, while l area was already struggling with the deadly Almeda Fuoco.
The fire has grown to merge with the Almeda – which began about six hours earlier – and has now killed at least two people.
Bakkela was reportedly seen starting a fire behind a house in Phoenix around 5pm. Tuesday, causing residents to flee.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said deputies arrived at the scene to find Bakkela “standing near a large fire that threatens several homes.”
Authorities said the Bakkela fire caused “significant damage” and destroyed “numerous houses”.
Bakkela was arrested Tuesday for violation of probation on charges of illegal possession of methamphetamines and was later charged on Friday in connection with the Almeda fire.
He was booked into Jackson County Jail and is due to be arraigned on Monday.
In California, a 37-year-old woman was also arrested on Friday on suspicion of intentionally starting an unknown number of fires on Highway 101 near Boronda Road at around 9:00 am Friday morning.
Shawn Thompson hugs Melissa Vuckovich after an unsuccessful search for their missing cat, at the site where their home once was in Ashland, Oregon
Firefighters work on a blazing fire in a burnt neighborhood in Talent, Oregon. Four people were arrested for arson for deliberately starting fires along the west coast
Talent Oregon Friday. Two men in Washington state, a man in Oregon and a woman in California are accused of arson for starting fires in areas that were already facing deadly fires
Anita Esquivel was arrested and jailed in the Monterey County Jail on arson charges.
The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office subsequently dismissed rumors that she had ties to the far-left activist group Antifa.
The Office told KION that there was no information or evidence to suggest she was connected to the group.
Two other men were arrested for lighting fires in Washington state this week, authorities confirmed.
A 36-year-old Puyallup resident was arrested Wednesday for allegedly starting a fire on State Route 167 in Meridian.
The next day another unidentified man was arrested following a brief police chase on foot over a fire that the man allegedly started at State Route 512 and State Route 7.
This happens when Oregon authorities said Thursday that they are investigating whether the cause of the Almeda fire that killed two people was arson after a body was discovered near the start of the fire.
Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara announced Thursday that a criminal investigation into the cause of the fire has been opened, saying he believes the circumstances surrounding the fire are “suspicious”.
Investigators are examining the possible connection between the fire and the death of an unidentified individual, whose body was found near the source of the fire.
The National Weather Service (NWS) revealed that 87% of all the fires that ravaged America this year were caused by humans.
A camp crew truck was destroyed on Stringtown Road in a blaze Thursday night in Oroville, Calif., Which burned on the truck in the bear fire
Boaters pass by the Seattle skyline during foggy conditions Friday morning as smoke pollution from fires in California and the Pacific Northwest worsened in San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon
Farm equipment was seen through heavy smoke Friday in Molalla, Oregon. Numerous fires have grown hundreds of thousands of acres this week, causing large-scale evacuations across the state
With the prevalence of man-made fires and the current turmoil the nation is grappling with, state and national authorities have been forced to deny unsubstantiated rumors surfaced online that the fires were intentionally set off by far-right groups or far left. .
The FBI said Friday that it investigated several claims and found them to be untrue, while officials from Oregon and Washington state turned to Facebook to take down competing narratives – some posts blamed antifa activists for far left and others claimed the far right group the Proud Boys were responsible for the fires that burned large swaths of the region.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday that the flames were proof of the dangers of climate change, denouncing the “ideological BS” of those who deny the danger and promising Friday to accelerate the state’s already ambitious targets for reducing gas. greenhouse.
“The data is clear, the experience we have in the state of California only underscores the reality of the ravages of climate change,” he said.
‘Mother Nature is physics, biology and chemistry. It beats last and beats a thousand. This is the reality we are facing, the reality of the split mouth – this perfect storm. The debate on climate change is over ”.
Newsom warned that “unless we put our action on climate change together, unless we disillusion ourselves with all the BS that are thrown up by a very small group of people,” then the time for action will be wasted.
Newsom noted that in the last month alone, California had its hottest August, with world-record heat in Death Valley.
It had 14,000 dry lightning strikes that triggered hundreds of fires, some that combined to create five of the 10 largest fires in the state’s recorded history.