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Firefighters reveal harrowing moments of Texas wildfire rescue


By Marvin Hurst

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    CANADIAN, Texas (KTVT) — Her name is unknown, but the story of her survival will stick with three Flower Mound firefighters for a very long time.

“The fire here moved at a speed that I hadn’t seen before,” Wade Woody said.

Woody is a Battalion chief who has been called on to fight wildfires since 2006 from California to Texas. Firefighters J.D. Weems and Brody Roberson are on task with him as a part of a strike team fighting wildfires in Texas.

The crew drove into searing images and danger Wednesday checking homes in Canadian to ensure people followed evacuation orders.

“Anything that would burn was starting to catch all in this neighborhood,” Woody said.

According to Woody, the front decorations were burning in the front and the shed behind ablaze, too. He sent Roberson to the door of the home almost sandwiched in flames. To their surprise, an elderly woman answered the door.

“This elderly lady, she had her bags packed, she had her keys in her hands,” Woody said. “But she was not able to self-rescue or evacuate herself.”

For reasons still not known, the woman who had an oxygen tank could not get out of the house as the flames closed in.

“She was probably mid-80s, frail, small, on oxygen, so she wasn’t physically capable of leaving either by foot or even by vehicle by herself,” he said.

Woody said Roberson walked her out to a vehicle and got the woman away from the home that was consumed in fire. The Batallion chief said it was 4:30 in the afternoon but the smoke made it look as dark as night.

The Flower Mound firefighters had a chance to reflect on the timing and the rescue hours later.

“It’s almost like she was standing there waiting on somebody to show up,” Woody said.

They called it Texans helping Texans in a challenging situation where there could likely be more stories like theirs.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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