On the Site:


One Week Later, Evacuated Assisted Care Facility Owner Wonders How Much Longer

Sep 20, 2018, 10:42 PM | Updated: Sep 21, 2018, 12:40 am

PAYSON, Utah – Of all the weeks Chris Hermansen has worked in his life, this past one just might be his toughest yet.

He’s the owner of the Elk Ridge Assisted Living facility in Utah County.

Pole Creek Fire

For the past week, his facility and 26 of the elderly people staying in his facility have been evacuated thanks to the Pole Creek Fire still burning out of control.

“We don’t even know when we’re going back,” said Hermansen. “If we had an end date, it would be a whole lot nicer to know.”

When we first talked to Hermansen last week, he was thinking they would only have to stay at the Payson Quality Inn for a few days. However, the days kept passing by.

Chris Hermansen

“At the last meeting we went to, they said it could be up to two weeks, which, as soon as I heard that, it was like ‘whoa,’” said Hermansen.

He says his insurance will only pay so much. The rest is up to him.

“I was doing some of the math,” he said. “It averages close to $2,000 a day.”

Hermansen helping residents

For now, though, he says he’s not worried about finances of it all. He’s more worried about making sure everyone is safe, fed, and entertained. Many people in the community have been helping by donating dinners, doing sing-alongs, and even putting notes on their doors to keep spirits up.

“Have a great day. Things will be OK,” said Hermansen, as he read some of the notes.

Notes on doors

Dining room

Residents say, so far, things have been manageable.

Hermansen has even brought on extra staff members to constantly do room checks.

“We’re here every 30 minutes. Minimum,” said Hermansen. “We have to make sure no one has fallen or fallen out of their beds and they’re not having an emergency. We don’t have our call system here like we do in our facility.”

MORE: Assisted Living Facility Evacuated In Utah County Due To Wildfire

Staff members with residents

The hotel manager has been able to get all the residents in one wing of the hotel.

Hermansen has also been visiting the facility every day to get medicine, personal items, and whatever else is needed to make sure they get through.

“I know this might sound like a fishy answer, but how long can I do this is however long it takes,” said Hermansen. “I care about these people like I do my own family.”


Chris Hermansen talking to residents Helicopter fighting the Pole Creek Fire Notes on doors Hermansen helping residents Dining room Pole Creek Fire Chris Hermansen Staff members with residents

KSL 5 TV Live


Daniel Skousen vacuums his home, damaged by August's wildfire, on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, in Lahaina,...

Rebecca Boone

Maui residents wonder if their burned town can be made safe

Maui residents want to know if their community can be made safe. The answer is - no one knows for sure.

3 days ago

Francis Lopez douses flames with a bucket of water as a wildfire called the Highland Fire burns thr...

Marcio Sanchez, Associated Press

Southern California wildfire prompts evacuation order for thousands

A wind-driven wildfire has damaged or destroyed at least nine buildings in rural Southern California and forced authorities to issue evacuation orders for 4,000 residents.

28 days ago

FILE - Sydney Carney walks through her home, which was destroyed by a wildfire on Aug. 11, 2023, in...

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Residents prepare to return to sites of homes demolished in Lahaina wildfire 7 weeks ago

Authorities on Monday are expected to begin allowing the first residents and property owners to return to their devastated properties in Lahaina.

2 months ago

Falco Kuester, a researcher at ALERTCalifornia, a program run by the University of California San D...

Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer

The threat of wildfires is rising. So is new artificial intelligence solutions to fight them

With wildfires becoming larger and more intense as the world warms, firefighters, utilities and governments are trying to get ahead of the flames by tapping into the latest AI technology.

2 months ago

The hall of historic Waiola Church in Lahaina and nearby Lahaina Hongwanji Mission are engulfed in ...

Associated Press

Residents prepare to return to sites of homes demolished in Lahaina wildfire 7 weeks ago

From just outside the burn zone in Lahaina, Jes Claydon can see the ruins of the rental home where she lived for 13 years and raised three children. Little remains recognizable beyond the jars of sea glass that stood outside the front door.

2 months ago

Chopped down forestry in the Dixie National Forest....

Mike Anderson

National forest officials thin out thousands of acres to reduce wildfire danger

Park officials are working on thinning more than 140-thousand acres of national forests in Utah, all in order to protect against catastrophic wildfires.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

A Step-by-Step Guide to Prepare Your Home for the Holidays

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

One Week Later, Evacuated Assisted Care Facility Owner Wonders How Much Longer