PINEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — He lived in Kansas and Idaho and spent his youth in foster care before he eventually landed in Paradise, California. But everything Brian Hensley worked for was lost in the flames of a forest fire.

“It was devastating. It took me a long time to even cry. It’s too much. Truck, house, tools, furniture, clothes, everything. Just completely wiped out,” he said.

That blaze stripped Hensley down to nearly nothing. The impact of that deep sense of loss left Hensley yearning for more. He wanted to know his origin and where he came from, a feeling which ignited the search for his father whom he hadn’t seen in over 55 years.

“The only thing I really want to do is give him a hug, just because he’s my dad. It’s the most important thing.”

Hensley managed to scrape enough together for a trailer and a bike, which would be his home and mode of transportation for a year as he trekked across the country. Then, in Maben, West Virginia, he came across the kindness of Heather Hood.

“The next day, he was still there. So, I just posted, made a couple phone calls, and got him a room for the night,” said Hood.

David “Bugs” Stover also became invested in Hensley’s journey.

“I just started following that. And then I noticed that he apparently had appeared in Maben. So I went up to talk to him, and there he was,” Stover said.

Together, they’re searching for an answer to the question of Brian’s identity and, where his biological father could be.

Hensley is still searching for any information about his father, Marvin Roy Wood. He will keep searching until he meets him.