More than 27K evacuated as fire destroys town

A fast-moving fire in Northern California left the town of Paradise in ruins as wind gusts up to 33 mph continue to feed the growing fire.
4:15 | 11/09/18

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Transcript for More than 27K evacuated as fire destroys town
We'll begin with the race to escape those massive wildfires in California. Three major fires are burning across the state right now, two of them exploding in southern California overnight. Let's take a look at the flames that are completely destroying homes and thousands are being ordered to evacuate. Another even bigger fire that's being called the camp fire is burning in the north completely destroying a town called paradise. A state of emergency has been declared and evacuation orders in place. Our chief national affairs correspondent Tom llamas starts us off on the ground there in paradise, good morning, Tom. Reporter: Robin, good morning. It's hard to believe that a place called paradise could now look like this. As you mentioned, the mayor of this town says it's entirely destroyed because of that wildfire. Just behind me, this used to be a neighborhood pharmacy that was burnt to the ground. It is still burning. We can hear the heat from the flames and a majority of the town looks like this. This was moving so fast run report said it was burning 80 football fields a minute. That's how fast it was. People were forced to run from their homes, their cars and try to seek shelter. This morning, tunnels of fire forcing people to run for their lives. A raging inferno burning through northern California. The camp wildfire destroying homes, hospitals and businesses and burning an entire town off the map. A town called paradise, now hell on Earth. I'm so scared. Reporter: Overnight firefighters working to beat back the towering flames. The widespread fire engulfing everything in its path. This house covered in flames slowly burning to pieces. This car completely ink sin rated. This hospital just one of the estimated 2,000 structures reduced to ashes by the fire. Doctors forced to evacuate patients from the threatening flames. Any units that are around the hospital, we got four people trapped in the basement. One, a nurse trapped in the hospital basement with no way to escape, she posted a good-bye letter to her family on faze. Attaching this terrifying video of what she was facing. Writing to all my friends and family and especially John and my kids, I love you with all my heart. I am trapped in this horrific fire and can't get out. But police got to her just in time rescuing everyone trapped. Teachers also saving lives, Travis Pendergrass from the middle school helped evacuate children before getting out of town himself. We lost everything. Trailers, all our belongings, now we're on grinding rock just trying to save everybody else's stuff. Southbound from feather river hospital all blocked by fire. Reporter: The fire which broke out before dawn on Thursday erupting into a massive blaze bigger than the island of Manhattan in a matter of hours. The column of thick, black smoke blotting out the sun. Turning day into night as the entire town scrambled to evacuate, a community of 27,000 ordered to get out. Residents fleeing from the fast-moving wildfire taking only what they could carry. Some with no hope for what was left behind. I tried calling the house and the machine didn't pick up. Reporter: The whipping winds also a cause for concern. Gusts of up to 33 miles per hour feeding the growing fire. The culmination of the chaos resulting in this firenado captured by Laura Anthony of our ABC station KGO. To sit there and watch that and the ferocity of it, it was quite a scene, fascinating on one hand but mostly my heart was sinking. Reporter: The mayor of paradise says they'll rebuild but they may have to rebuild the entire town. Behind me you can see the force of this fire. It burned everything to the ground. All of this metal completely melted to the bottom and the flame is still burning at this hour. More than 500 firefighters are currently fighting this wildfire. As we were driving in through the night we saw fire crews from all over California coming to this area of northern California to help fight this wildfire that

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