CISCO Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Mayor of Cisco Tammy Douglas had just put a load of laundry in around 4:30 p.m. on March 17, when her fiance Luke came in with concerning news.
“I had been here maybe 15 minutes and he said, ‘We may be in trouble.’ I said, ‘What do you mean, trouble?’ He said, ‘Did you not see the fire?'” Douglas says.
As her fiance headed back out to check on the fire condition, Douglass drove up the road and says she recalls a red glow that was quickly overtaking the horizon. She returned home and gathered what she could to leave for the night.
“I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll be back tomorrow. Even if I have to stay the night somewhere, I’ll be back late tonight,'” says Douglas.
But after seven long hours of uncertainty, she was confronted with a difficult reality.
“I had a report that everything we had was gone, and I said, ‘I’m not going to believe it ’til I see it,'” Douglas says.
The cabin she and her family had called home for two years was now a smoldering pile of debris. Nothing was salvageable.
But the night was not over.
Once her family was secure, Douglas had to attend to her other duty as Mayor of Cisco.
“I’m still in a numbing stage myself, but I knew I still had a duty to serve them,” Douglas says. “With what we’ve been through, they’re scared and I don’t blame them.”
As the fires progressed and more homes were taken, Douglas says she saw her community come together and organize donation and volunteer efforts, seeing to the needs of others like herself who were now without a home.
“I had to go out there and take advantage of some of that and that was a prideful thing for me,” Douglas says. “It’s just amazing to me to see that outpour of love and it reassures you that we still have some mankind that’s special to us.”
It’s the same kind of support she’s seen all around the state, which she says gives her hope for the future.
“We’ll get through it and we know that those are only tangible things, and we’re just thankful that we’re alive and well and healthy,” says Douglas.