Friday, December 19, 2014

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Crews battle rekindled fire in rural McLennan County

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TWC News: Crews battle rekindled fire in rural McLennan County
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A wildfire that has burned 260 acres and threatened homes near Moody--about 35 miles southwest of Waco--earlier this week rekindled Tuesday afternoon.

According to Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Mary Kay Hicks, the fire originated at a campsite on Sunday and burned through Iron Bridge Park in Bell County before spreading into Coryell County.

Fire officials said Tuesday morning the fire was contained, but gusting winds hampered firefighters’ efforts to smother remaining hot spots and the blaze began to pick up again by the afternoon.

The fire earlier this week threatened five homes. One of those homes belongs to Michael Campbell, who was in Temple when he saw a huge cloud of smoke. He realized his home and wife, Tammy, were in danger.

"I was asleep because I work nights and my house filled with smoke,” Tammy Campbell said. “I called my husband and was like, ‘What is going on?’ I didn't know if our neighbors were burning trash, and all of sudden it got so thick that I couldn't see."

Michael quickly called the Bell County Sheriffs, and they were able to get his wife to safety.

A large group of firefighters from neighboring Bell County arrived in Moody to protect the Campbell's and eight other homes.

"We want to save everyone's property as much as possible. That's our main goal and our main concern,” Bell County Fire Marshal Steven Casey said.

Rough terrain around the homes prevented fire trucks from getting to the fire. Bulldozers were used to clear a path for responders.

"They can do a whole lot of work quick,” Casey said. “I think we're going to be lucky and save those houses, if at all possible."

Together, 30 fire trucks, three bulldozers and dozens of firefighters were able to save the homes.

"These guys are putting their lives on the line,” Michael Campbell said. “So all these firefighters and the guys down there with the bulldozers that are trying to save it, we thank them very much."

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