A California man’s hope that a TV news appearance would lead to him finding his grandparents paid off after he was reunited with them on Sunday night.
John Warner appeared on CBS-affiliate KHSL earlier in the day asking for help in locating his grandparents, Fay and Anne Sherman, who lived in Paradise, Calif., which has been devastated by the deadly Camp Fire.
“ just hope that somehow they’re watching or somebody’s watching that has seen them,” he told CBS, holding up a flyer showing the couple, as well as a more recent photo of Fay.
At the time he said the family could not reach them and they did not drive, and Warner’s uncle could not reach them. According to a Facebook post by Jennie Warner, they also learned the Shermans’ home had “burned to the ground,” but were hopeful about the couple because Fay “is a veteran so he is a fighter.”
Moments after the interview, Warner said he started receiving numerous phone calls and missed many.
“I found my grandparents that fast,” he said happily. “Everyone out there trying to do the same, get out there and do this … Get out there, you will find the person. I am just floored right now.”
WATCH: California man says he found grandparents after appearing on TV
He said earlier in the morning they had four family members missing, though two were found prior to Warner going on the news initially.
According to Warner, a shelter worker called him and told him, “he’s at the shelter.”
Warner added he decided to go on the news because he “needed to talk to someone local” as he was searching for his family.
A short time later, Warner appeared on the news once more but this time with his grandfather by his side.
WATCH: Death toll rises to 31 in raging California wildfires
“We found you,” he told Fay. “Somebody that worked here said, ‘yep, I know where they are, head over to the church.'”
Asked how he felt now that his grandparents were found, Warner told reporters he felt “overwhelming joy.”
“So ecstatic. didn’t know if they were alive, but they’re alive,” he said.
When he arrived at the church in Chico, Calif., where his grandparents were, he was thrilled to see they were alive. Fay was also asked if he was happy they were reunited, to which he responded, “Oh yeah.”
The grandparents were found by Anne’s daughter. It was a happy ending for the family as two massive wildfires continue to bear down on the state.
Six more have died in Northern California, raising the death toll to 31, matching California’s record for deaths in a single fire. Two people were also killed in a wildfire in Southern California. Another 228 remain missing.
Paradise, where the Shermans had lived, largely went up in smoke last week after the Camp Fire raged through the town.
Across the state, 150,000 people are displaced as more than 8,000 fire crews battle the flames.
Fires have besieged Malibu as well, with about 180 structures destroyed, including the coastal homes of celebrities.
Northern California has seen more than 6,700 buildings destroyed, but the flames are still threatening more structures and communities with fire officials stating they had containment at 25 per cent on Sunday. But there were concerns gusty winds on Monday could spark “explosive fire behaviour.”
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over the weekend in what has become the state’s deadliest wildfire on record.
—With files from the Associated Press
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