Crews Save Cedar Hill Homes From 500-Acre Grass Fire

Cedar Hill, TX - More than 500 acres in Midlothian and Cedar Hill burned in the so-called Gifco Fire Friday night into Saturday. As of 9 p.m. Saturday, the fire was 70 percent contained, but not before threatening several homes -- causing residents to flee.

Tina Bridges could see smoke from her Cedar Hill home for several hours Friday, but it wasn't until 11:30 p.m. that she really began to worry.

"I woke up and saw an orange light in the sky and it just didn't look right. I watched it, and within an hour, I could see the tips of the flames like licking the air. It was really intense," Bridges said.

That's when she made the decision to wake her husband and pack the valuables and dog into the car to evacuate.

"Within less than 10 minutes, it went from a half a mile away to right behind my gate. I'm still shaking from it," Bridges said.

By the time she made it to a neighbor's house across the street, the empty lot next to Bridges' home was up in flames. If it weren't for the several local fire departments and forest service crews working nearby, she believes her home would've been engulfed too.

"They had been battling it all day yesterday and they were exhausted, and it was 11:30 at night at this point. The moment they were alerted and saw it in my backyard, they were able to contain it. And with how fast it spread, I'm surprised that's all that happened," Bridges said.

Saturday, those crews were still out monitoring the still-smoldering scorched earth from both the ground and sky with the help of a drone. After a long, sleepless night, Bridges said they've provided the peace she and her neighbors need to relax amidst the still dry, hot conditions that continue to spark grass fires across North Texas.

"Every time I think about it, I'm just very happy. They saved our house. I know they definitely saved lives," Bridges said.

Source: NBCdfw