Fire that threatened local neighborhood 100 percent contained

(Photo by Cathy Dennison)
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) A large fire that threatened as many as 150 homes in a Temple neighborhood, forced evacuations of some homes and sent four firefighters to the hospital was 100 percent contained Saturday morning.

FM 2483 remained close to traffic just before 6 p.m. Friday because of the fire.

The fire hasn’t damaged any houses, but six non-residential buildings were damaged, Temple Fire & Rescue spokesman Thomas Pechal said.

Three firefighters have been taken to a Temple hospital, three for heat-related issues and one because of a sprain.

Firefighters from Temple and surrounding communities assisted by the Texas A&M Forest Service were battling the flames on the ground while air crews aboard tankers dumped retardant on the fire.

“Our main concern is getting containment at this point, getting a stop on it,” Pechal said.

The fire was burning in the Windmill Farms area just north of West Adams Avenue along Highway 317 near High Point Elementary School.

Residents were asked to avoid the area of Highway 317 and Orion Drive, and a portion of FM 2438 was closed to traffic.

“If you don’t have to be here, please stay away,” Pechal said.

Earlier Friday some residents left their homes as the flames approached and the residents of one home in close proximity to the fire were ordered to evacuate.

Residents of homes in the area of Orion Drive were told at around 5:30 p.m. they could return to their homes.

Temple police assisted with evacuations, and several churches opened their doors to residents forced out of their homes by the fire including First Foundation Methodist Church at 10751 West Adams Ave. and Vista Community Church at 7051 Stonehollow.

Rehabilitation stations were set up for firefighters, who were working in 100-plus degree heat.

“Rehab is being addressed very seriously,” Pechal said.

“That’s obviously a concern today…overexertion and dehydration.”

Smoke from the fire could create visibility problems and may pose a health threat to residents with respiratory issues, he said.

The fire apparently wasn't threatening High Point Elementary School or the site of a new Belton ISD high school, the district said.

Authorities don’t yet know what sparked the fire.


(Temple Police Dept. photo)