WISE COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Wise County Fire Marshal Marc Dodd blames a trash fire for a 15-acre blaze that tore through parts of unincorporated Wise and Johnson Counties Wednesday afternoon.
Thumbing through a few charred photo albums, Wise County resident Cherie Stone, 84, said she was grateful that she was able to salvage something from the flames.
“Oh this is my daddy and momma,” she said, pointing to a few black and white photos. “I can’t believe these weren’t burned.”
Officials said a family friend who was burning trash started the fire. On Tuesday, Governor Rick Perry issued a formal Disaster Proclamation for Threat of Extreme Wildfire for both Johnson and Wise counties.
“We were burning some trash around here and we thought it was out. But apparently, it wasn’t,” said Wise County resident Bobby Davis. “I just got to do what I can to help them. I don’t know; I will do what I can.”
Without fire hydrants, nearby water had to be trucked in to help control the flames. Firefighters were still putting out hot spots late Wednesday evening.
“It’s unbelievable,” Stone said. “Everything and – you know after 84-years you can collect a lot – it’s all gone.”
Stone’s family Christmas tree and their gifts were incinerated in minutes. Stone had several family members and friends in town for the holidays.
“We are very careful. We unplug everything; the coffee pot, the Christmas tree,” she said. “It’s hard to think about what we want to do right here in Christmas.”
As she copes with her loss, she said she’s trying to keep the Christmas spirit. Dodd said there were no injuries or deaths as a result of the fire.
Dodd added that any individual who starts a fire that damages someone’s property can be considered arson. The case will be referred to the District Attorney’s office, he said. No charges had been filed as of Wednesday night.
The Red Cross is helping the Stones and providing them with a hotel and money for clothes and food.