Grieving mother helps Santa Rosa iron worker who lost everything in North Bay fires

Thursday, October 12, 2017 06:55PM
Sometimes tragedy brings us together. Sometimes loss is how we gain the most. This story is an example of both.


SAN PABLO, Calif. - ABC7 News met an ironworker who learned the fire in Santa Rosa stole just about all his possessions - including tools that provide his livelihood.

He got help from a stranger who knows what it's like to lose something precious.

FULL LIST: North Bay fires prompt evacuations, road closures

The recovery in Santa Rosa for Dana Hansen begins in San Pablo. The 27-year-old iron worker's home in Coffey Park and all his tools were destroyed in the wildfire on Monday. "Every house was on fire as was mine as I was leaving here driving through the flames," he said.

Michael Ewing reached out via social media to let Hansen know she had a full set of iron worker tools. They connected Thursday morning at the Ewing's house in San Pablo. "There's harnessing and tool belt," Ewing said.

Grieving mother helps Santa Rosa iron worker who lost everything in North Bay fires


But there's something special about the tools as they belonged to another iron worker named, Michael Ewing - Michael and David Ewing's son. "Michael was what you would call a rod buster, he did re-bar work," his mother said.

Michael died more than two years ago at the age of 31 from colon cancer. His mom and dad knew his tools would be valuable to someone because of the devastating wildfires in Santa Rosa.

The future is unknown for Dana as he's been in contact with his insurance company, but it's unclear when the rebuilding process will begin.


On Thursday, he got a little bit back from the ashes and a grieving mother did too. "It's like a testimonial to Michael and what he loved and Dana sounds like this is his passion too," Ewing said.

"I'm proud to wear his tools and keep them on the steel," Hansen said.

Now that Dana has Michael's tools, he's all ready to go back to the job on Monday.

Click here for full coverage on the North Bay fires.

PHOTOS: Fires rage out of control in North Bay
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