ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Three grass fires sparked inside Abilene city limits Tuesday afternoon, the largest burning about 200 acres in Wylie, threatening the Mesa Springs retirement home and residential neighborhoods.
The large grass fire began after a transformer sparked nearby trees behind a home near the intersection Karen Street and White Boulevard. The other two smaller fires happened in Northwest Abilene and on the 300 block of Treadaway Boulevard.
Leah Sterling lives in the home, was alerted to the fire by a child inside the residence, then looked at the home’s security camera to confirm the danger. After seeing the flames creeping closer to her backdoor, she called 911 and tried to defend her home with a garden hose.
“It was pretty scary. I was shaking in flip flops putting out the fire. I didn’t realize until after I was done how dumb that was but I was trying to save the house and the animals,” said Sterling.
Abilene Fire Department Deputy Chief Mike Burden says grass fires like the one Sterling experienced are common this time of year, but there are steps residents can take to protect their homes.
“If you clear brush about 8 to 10 feet from your back fence that’s going to keep your home protected,” said Burden.
Sterling says her family is likely to take that advice in order to prevent another potential disaster.
“We’re going to put down dirt so hopefully this won’t happen again,” said Sterling.
No structures were damaged in this large fire but additional AFD crews were standing by at the Mesa Springs retirement home as a precaution.
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