Monday, September 5, 2011

Texas Mother and child killed in wildfire tragedy as 16-mile-long blaze torches thousands of acres and hundreds of homes - 5th Sept 2011

A woman and her 18-month-old daughter were killed Sunday after they were trapped in their East Texas trailer home engulfed by flames, as unforgiving wildfires fanned by the winds of Tropical Storm Lee wreak havoc across the state.

The 20-year-old woman and her child had no chance to escape as a wall of flames ravaged their neighborhood and ultimately their home, Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano said.

A male occupant of the home was burned but able to escape.

He frantically searched for the woman and child but couldn't find them, and their bodies were later found near the bathroom inside the double-wide trailer.

Local and state firefighting crews scrambled to contain the fast-moving blazes, which have levelled 300 homes and forced evacuations at hundreds more in Bastrop County.

Winds were from the north to northeast at 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph and relative humidity at 20 to 30 per cent.

The National Weather Service said South, Central and East Texas were all under 'red flag' warnings for critical fire conditions until late Sunday night. No injuries were reported.

The wildfire threat became so dire in the Austin area of Central Texas that the Austin Fire Department issued a public appeal for any and all available firefighters in the area to report for duty. Read More