POSTED: Monday, September 9, 2013 - 12:18am
UPDATED: Monday, September 9, 2013 - 7:51pm
(KETK) - Tyler Tx — "The Fire Department said, 'evacuate' and I was like what's going on," said Juanita Willims. "I walked outside and all I could see was flames coming up through the words."
Residents of Smith County felt the heat early Sunday afternoon as most of the area around FM 2767 and County Road 2809 was evacuated.
Due to multiple grass fires, approximately 60 homes had to be evacuated and multiple out buildings and vehicles were lost.
With 350 acres up in flames, Smith County sent 16 fire crews out to contain the fire and protect the residents.
"We've been evacuated for some hours now," said Tiffany Pitts.
For Pitts and her children the fire took things they loved.
"We have two houses that caught on fire. and a car burnt up also."
But it did not take everything. They told KETK they were happy to just have each other. It was hard to ignore the love this community has for one another.
"My biggest concern was for all the elderly people that live here because we had to come out and get them," Pitts said.
"Two of them are single ladies living alone, elderly," Willims said. "They were in their houses asleep. If no one checked on them and the fire came up this way they would've been gone."
As for the cause of the multiple grass fires, it is still under investigation.
"We don't know what caused this fire yet," said John Moore, Public Information Officer for the Smith County Sheriff's Department. "But something started it."
Smith County has been under a burn ban and the Smith County Sheriff's Department said if you are caught burning there will be consequences.
"Today was a prime example of why burn bans are issued," Moore said.