Bastrop wildfire 911 calls released

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by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @JimB_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on September 27, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 28 at 5:49 PM

Bastrop, TX--New numbers were released Tuesday on the Bastrop wildfire.  It is 98 percent contained and cost an estimated $250 million.  It is the most expensive in Texas history.

Also, for the first time, the 911 calls from that fire were released.  Here's a transcript of some of the calls made by homeowners and emergency responders:

DISPATCHER: Bastrop County 911.  Do you need fire, police or an ambulance?
CALLER: I've got an electrical power line down and I'm afraid it's going to spark another fire right in the area of the other one.

RESPONDER: Be advised I need deputies on 1441.  We have smoke running across the road.  We need to shut down 1441.

CALLER: That fire down on county road is pretty much on it's way right to our house.
CALLER: I'm standing here now and it's 100 yards away if that.
DISPATCHER: Okay, all right. I will let them know. 

RESPONDER:  I have done all I can do.
RESPONDER: You need to get out of the smoke. Reid, back away from the house.

RESPONDER: Josh we are abandoning this house.  It's too bad. We are getting out.  It sounds like a freight train coming in here.

RESPONDER: We have fires on Kelly and KC with houses burning.
RESPONDER: Chief, I don't have any more units, you are going to have to get me some more units from out of town. We don't have people.  I'm protecting every house I got over here.

CALLER: It's a big fire. please send someone.
DISPATCHER: I'm going right now okay.  Hold on one second and let me talk to them right quick OK?
CALLER: OK. OK. Go get in the car. Go get in the car. I am afraid. It is a big fire. My husband is still in the house, I don't know why. We have two kids, I want to get my kids.
DISPATCHER: Calm down. Take a deep breath, everything is going to be OK.  I'm sending the fire department to you right now. Grab your kids, grab your husband and then leave. OK?

Fire investigators confirmed what one caller said. The Bastrop wildfire started when branches and trees fell on power lines, causing them to spark. The fire killed two people and destroyed nearly 1,600 homes.
 

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