Survivor story: John Hansen

By Ken Raymond Modified: May 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm •  Published: May 1, 2009
But when you have a natural disaster that starts on the edge of one part of your community, then hits the larger city and then the suburbs on either side, you run out of resources.”

Hansen was so busy he didn’t realize he was a victim until about 45 minutes had passed.

“One of our fire captains came up and pointed and said, ‘You live right up over that hill,’” Hansen said. “What had been a grove of trees was completely gone, and I could see into the neighborhood.”

His townhouse in the Greenbriar Eastlake Patio Home community was ravaged and would later be condemned.

“I said, ‘Oh well,’” he recalled. “At that point, the fact that I was affected was a secondary thing.”

Emergency operations continued for days. Rescuers — paid and volunteer — didn’t get much sleep.

“Those people just went above and beyond the call of duty,” said Hansen, who now runs a company that provides training to public safety groups. “That’s expected of us. But to see the citizens do the same thing ... and honestly, genuinely want to help, I’ll never forget that.”

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