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A 27-year-old father from California died on Sunday after enduring a fatal asthma attack caused by the wildfires which left him brain dead.
Joshua Hoefer lost his ability to breathe when the attack came on Wednesday night while he and his girlfriend of seven years, Cierra Lopez, were packing up their belongings so they could leave their Santa Rosa home.
Day - Cierra - DailyMail - Com - Things
They were planning to leave the next day, and Cierra told DailyMail.com that she now wonders if things might have turned out differently for her family had they left sooner.
Joshua's story illustrates the speed with which the wildfires, which have now claimed at least 40 lives in California, can devastate entire communities.
Cierra - Boyfriend - Life - Weeks
Cierra said that her boyfriend had struggled with asthma his entire life but that it had gotten worse within the last few weeks.
Joshua's inhaler no longer worked to subdue his condition, and he had instead been using a nebulizer machine.
Cierra - Smoke - Wildfires - Home - Time
Cierra said that even though she could smell the smoke from the wildfires in their home, they thought they had more time to flee at the time of her boyfriend's attack.
Joshua's five-year-old son Nathan was in the room when his father lost consciousness.
Attack - Joshua - Nebulizer - Machine - Work
Immediately after the attack began, Joshua started using his nebulizer machine. But it did not work.
He then told his girlfriend to call 911. She did, but as she was talking to first responders she witnessed her partner of seven years begin to lose consciousness.
'I - Phone - Paramedics - Cierra
'I was on the phone with the paramedics. I told them: "He's purple. He's gone!"' Cierra said.
Still, she performed CPR to try to save him, and the first responders walked her through it.
'I laid him down. I was trying to...
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