Active and retired military work together to put out a large fire

Flames came within inches of their home; they stayed and fought back.
KWTX News 10 at 10P
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 6:19 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - The Killeen Fire Department was busy this last Thursday as they worked to put out six different wildfires across the city.

A group of active and retired military found one of those fires in their own backyard.

When they saw the flames, they ran towards the fire, ready to protect their community.

One homeowner, Glenda, said this was no small happening. “It wasn’t small for us, this was huge. This was something huge and scary.”

Last Thursday, a grass fire started in the field directly behind her house.

She says the flames burnt her backyard coming as close as one foot from her house.

Although Glenda wasn’t home, her neighbor Heather saw the fire and took action.

“The wind started picking up really heavy. You could see the flames licking on the back side of the houses, so everyone started grabbing their hoses from the houses, hooking up to people’s side spickets,” said heather, an army veteran living in the community.

Along with roughly 50 other neighbors, heather and her community of active and retired military came together to fight off the fast-approaching fire.

Those who bravely volunteered were knocking on doors, alerting neighbors, and mitigating the fire near their properties.

“Everybody just saw everybody running to the fire,” said Heather.

When word of the fire spread, even those who weren’t home ran back to help their community and defend their neighbors’ homes.

“You know I was all the way across town on base and I got a phone call and it was like ‘the neighborhood is on fire’. I didn’t come for my house; I came for the neighborhood,” said Nica, a Saegert Ranch resident who dropped what she was doing to help her neighbors.

With flames reaching 20 ft. and wind gusts at 40 mph, Killeen fire chief, James Kubinski says he understands the want this community had to protect their belongings but encourages people to also know when to stay away.

“Nobody did anything wrong; we just urge citizens to take caution when doing that because your life is the most precious thing second to your property. We want to assure you get out of there safely,” said Chief Kubinski.

He also cited that protecting homes and structures is one of the fire department’s first strategies when handling large fires like these.

With the help of surrounding fire crews and the brave residents of Saegert Ranch, the fire was put out by 4:30 p.m. And roadways reopened shortly after, at 6 p.m.

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