Los Angeles Times

Both children gone, parents still unaware: The unimaginable agony of one California family

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Kressa Jean Shepherd, a Ukiah High School junior who dreamed of becoming an artist, died here two days before Halloween.

On Oct. 9, she and her family were fleeing the Redwood Valley firestorm when they were trapped by the blaze on the mountain near their home. The fire killed 14-year-old Kai Shepherd and inflicted grievous injury on his parents and 17-year-old sister, Kressa.

Kressa had spent what can only be described as three harrowing, mostly unconscious weeks in the burn unit of Shriners Hospitals for Children, before her brain swelled and then stopped.

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