Texas Wildfire Forces Hundreds to EvacuateMay 12, 2014
A North Texas wildfire that broke out Sunday afternoon forced hundreds of Hutchinson County residents to evacuate their homes. The fire wiped out at least 100 homes in the area, with hundreds more in the path of the blaze. Firefighters on the scene reported that they had contained most of the blaze, but the danger had not yet passed. The fire continued to burn well into Sunday night and the early morning hours on Monday.
Homes in Danger from Texas Wildfire
Monty Leggett, the chief of police in the nearby town of Fritch, told reporters that the Texas wildfire had burned out more than 100 homes. Chief Leggett also mentioned that authorities would have a better understanding of the extent of the damage when the fire subsided. The report also stated that 300 to 400 residents were evacuated, while hundreds more were without power. Chief Leggett said that local officials were considering a full evacuation of Fritch (pop. 2,100), but decided against such a drastic move late Sunday evening.
First Responders Combat Texas Wildfire
Local and state first responders battled the Texas wildfire well into the night. More than 100 local firefighters from every fire department in the county coordinated their efforts with the Texas Forestry Service. The Forestry Service conducted water drops from the agency’s aircraft on Monday. As of the most recent reports, no fatalities or injuries have been recorded.
Damage Assessment in Texas Wildfire
Early estimates show the damage to the Texas wildfire could run well into the millions of dollars. In addition to at least 100 homes, the fire has taken out more than 1,500 acres of forest. The full assessment of the damage could require several days after the firefighters extinguish the blaze, as residents currently staying in schools and churches for shelter return home and review the remains.
Insurance Concerns over Texas Wildfire
Residents affected by the Texas wildfire may look to their homeowner’s insurance policies to provide them with the funds they need to repair their damaged homes. However, some policies may not cover all the damage, as well as the attendant expenses like food and hotel stays during the evacuation. Other insurers may look for reasons to deny claims, citing that the homeowner failed to follow specific procedures outlined in the policy. When homeowners encounter such issues with their insurers, they often consider pursuing legal action.
Source: NBC News
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