Firefighters save woman's "miracle" home from "Bearing" wildfire

Billie Blair had 10 minutes to evacuate her Trinity County home.
Billie Blair had 10 minutes to evacuate her Trinity County home.
The massive blaze was stopped right at Blair's fence.
The massive blaze was stopped right at Blair's fence.

TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Billie Blair had 10 minutes to evacuate her Trinity County home.

"It's really strange at what you will pick up," said Blair. "What you think is important and I tease this....but I had three P's, pets, pictures, and panties. That's all I had when I evacuated."

Blair's home was directly in the line of a more than 20,00-acre fire. Twenty minutes later, she was told her home just off FM 2262 was gone.

"All of the sudden I realized I didn't have a home and it set in," said Blair. "There was some emotions there."

She waited five and a half hours, then firefighters brought her the news.

"They said Mrs. Blair, you will not believe your house is standing back there," remembered Blair.

The "Bearing" Wildfire was stopped right at her fence.

It's her miracle house, a testament to the hard work of firefighters.

"It looked like the good Lord just put his hands on top of it, and it just went around," said Blair. "Burned all the rest of the property out there, but it was the hard work of the volunteer fire department. No one can praise them enough."

"Well I've been on complexes that were a million acres, but for intensity at the start, at the gun, this one was ripping for flat topography," said Dalynn Parks with the U.S. Forest Service.

Just up the road from the Blairs, Sheila Greenwood was also told to evacuate, but her family chose to stay. Her son watered down their roof.

"Then one of my other grandson's who is 10, he was watering on the other side of the house," said Greenwood.

It's calmer now, the Blairs have returned home, but at 80 percent containment, fire crews said they're not out of the woods yet.

"You've got eight months of continued drought, two inches is nothing," said Parks. "By this weekend, you're going to see smoke and more fires."

Fire crews said the rain did help some, but they're still going to be working, targeting some hot spots and residents said they're finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

"Last night was probably my first sleep, actually slept because I've been smelling smoke every night and I just wake up and panic, what's burning now," said Greenwood.

You can still see bulldozer tracks around the Blairs home. It's a reminder of the sacrifice that changed her life.

"I have a little sign over here that somebody gave me one time and it says bless this little old bitty house, well He did," said Blair.

Fire crews are making progress, but areas north of FM 2262, like Apple Springs could be in the path of the fire if it picks up.

As of Thursday evening, the bearing fire was 80 percent contained, however officials believe that number will change by the end of the day.

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