One of the people who responded, Barbara Fenley, a deputy with the Eastland County Sheriff’s Office, died Friday while trying to rescue victims of the fires, authorities said.
Carbon, just south of Eastland, Texas, is thought to derive its name in part from the early 20th century oil discoveries that transformed communities like nearby Ranger into legendary boom towns. The rural community is home to farmers, cattle ranchers, small business owners, and commuters to jobs in larger cities.
On Saturday, the inhabitants of Carbon found themselves without water or electricity. Many people whose homes burned were staying with friends or in shelters. Individuals, churches and businesses deposited donations of goods and money.
Mr Hull, 47, the mayor, who works as a steelworker in Eastland and is music minister for the Carbon Community Baptist Church, did not lose his home. But the fire burned others nearby, and the streets of Carbon and the surrounding landscape offered ample evidence of the disaster.
Michael Williams, an auto technician who works in Breckenridge more than 30 miles away, said he returned to Carbon after his father called him around 5 p.m. Thursday to tell him his town was under orders. evacuation, with a torrent of flames. bearing down.
Mr Williams, a member of Carbon Town Council, arrived home to find his family had been evacuated, but conditions were so bad due to the approaching flames that he was unable to enter the house to save anything other than his two dogs. , Pepper and Wrangler. Even though he was driving in daylight, the smoke was so thick when he got home that “you couldn’t see the road ahead of you”, Mr Williams recalls. “It was like someone had turned off the lights.”