NOLANVILLE — Crews from the Harker Heights Fire Department and Central Bell County Fire and Rescue teamed up Tuesday afternoon to extinguish a blaze along Spur 439 that destroyed an unoccupied mobile home.
“This could have been a much worse situation with all the brush, high grass and items dumped back here,” said Jason Worsdale, fire chief of Central Bell County Fire and Rescue. “The potential was here for us to be battling this entire block. We really got lucky on this one.”
Wind gusts of over 35 mph and dry conditions made containing the blaze difficult for the 14 firefighters at the scene.
“Our biggest issue is ensuring that none of the embers get picked up by the wind,” Heights Capt. Cindy Hicks said.
Worsdale said the call came in at 12:40 p.m. When his two fire trucks arrived on-site minutes later, the mobile home was engulfed in flames.
Bell County Fire Marshal Steve Casey said a quick response from Central Bell County Fire and Rescue kept the fire from jumping to neighboring homes and traveling down the fence line. The fire was extinguished at 2:07 p.m., Worsdale said.
“One mobile home that was being used for storage and one vehicle were destroyed in the blaze,” Casey said. “No one was injured. The cause appears to be accidental in nature, but it’s currently being investigated.”
Neighbor Martina Renick said she saw the smoke and was worried about her friends’ Lori and Warren Bouteller’s newly renovated home getting caught in the crossfire.
The Boutellers’ property abuts the lot where the fire broke out. Now their privacy fence has a large hole in it. Their home wasn’t damaged.
“Residents need to clean up their areas and think of their neighbors, because this could have been a lot worse,” Worsdale said about items strewn about the area, including mattresses, piles of lumber and household waste. “We can’t put it out if we can’t get to it. If we have to traverse things to get to the source, it just snowballs from there.”
The property owner could not be reached for comment.
Contact Vanessa Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7567.