Shasta College houses hundreds of heartbroken Carr Fire evacuees

REDDING, Calif. (KGO) -- As the sun set on a hazy, ash-filled sky over Shasta College, the lawn has turned into somewhat of a campground. Tents, cots and makeshift-forts have been set up by Carr Fire evacuees, hoping for some relief from triple-digit temperatures that continue through the night.
On campus, several Red Cross evacuation shelters. Rows upon rows of cots line the gymnasium.

"The situation blew up overnight. It went from 20,000 to 45,000 acres," said Amanda Ree of the Red Cross.

VIDEO: Drive through Carr Fire near Redding reveals apocalyptic scenes

Along with the onslaught of donated supplies, medical stations tended to many who were evacuated from nearby hospitals and clinics. Those with respiratory conditions are feeling the brunt of the triple-digit heat.

Patrick Perry's mother-in-law is also in need of Oxygen. "It's tough for me too because I have epilepsy so it's tough dealing with the heat," he said. "But I'm a young guy. I'm trying to look out for my mom and dad first."

ABC7 News found one woman with three small boys under the age of 5 in a tent. The boys were fussy from the high temperatures. Mom said she thought the tent would be a fun idea and that she couldn't stay inside the gymnasium because of her crying kids.
"What you see inside is traumatic. There's cots lined up and there's people struggling and people dealing with loss."

There are many stories of struggle. A young man named Michael Pilipanko was sitting on a cot with his aunt tending to their dog who had just been bitten by another dog.

"It's been very emotional and very stressful. Just trying to figure out if we're evacuating or's hell."

RELATED: Carr Fire explodes over 48,000 acres, destroys 500 structures, continues to burn

Jenny Mortensen's husband was missing after trying to find a hotel for their family.

"He left this morning to look for a hotel room," Mortensen told ABC7 News. "I told him not to leave because he wasn't going to find anything."

After a 10-hour ordeal, worrying what could have possibly happened to the love of her life, she broke down in tears.

"I don't care. I don't care about anything in the house. I just want my husband and to know that he is safe."

In hour 11, word finally came that her husband did indeed find a hotel room more than an hour and fifteen minutes from Redding, in Willows.

One of the most poignant stories: of firefighter Jason Campbell. While leading a 20-person crew fighting the Ferguson Fire near Yosimite, he returned home to his home, destroyed by flames.

Back at Shasta, Senator Ted Gained toured donation sites, offering assistance to those in need of a break.

"A lot of resilience. I met a 99-year old woman and her son who I'm guessing is in his 70's or mid 60's and to see them go through all this effort to evacuate and end up just wanted a blanket and pillow and I'm going to find it for them!"

The need for donations remains great. While the Red Cross is asking for financial assistance and volunteers, the volunteers are asking for supplies and translators, to help the Hmong who need medical attention.

Get the latest on the Carr Fire here and the latest on wildfires across California here.

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