Grassfire threatens homes, evacuations ordered
Sun, 03 Apr 2011 22:45:51 GMT — To see the latest, click here. Waking up to the devastation -- 7:00 a.m. update
Thousands of Guymon residents are waking up to devastation and damage to parts of the city as an inferno invaded the city Sunday evening.
It was around 4:30 p.m. Sunday when authorities received a call about a fire. High winds were pushing the fire into the city.
Offiials say the fire b urned down at least one house and damaged others, while destroying many other structures including a few businesses.
More than 300 people were evacuated from their homes and the fire knocked out power for more than 1,500 people's houses as well. The Elks Addition as well as some mobile home parks were evacuated as well as areas south of Highway 54.
Highway 54 was closed for several hours coming into the city. Highway 64 was also closed for a short amount of time due to a wreck, police said.
Emergency Officials were on hand throughout the night monitoring the situation to help keep the city of about 15,000 safe.
"The fire department's still out there and will be out pretty much most of the night continuing to put out hot spots and little fires here and there, but the bulk of it has been contained, which is a great thing for all of us," said Chief Eddie Adamson, Guymon Police Department.
"There's not much containment at first it started out pretty small and progressed very rapidly with the high winds," said Scott Lathrop, Guymon Fire Department.
All residents have been allowed back into their homes, but due to some of the power lines having burned in the fire, those homes will be without power.
A shelter has been set up at the Victory Memorial United Methodist Church. The Red Cross said at least three families were utilizing it.
Check back for more updates throughout the day.________________________________________________LIVE Updates from Sunday
Update 11:50 p.m. Highway 54 has now been reopened.
Update 11:10 p.m. Highway 64 has been reopened, according to City officials. Opening Highway 54 is now being discussed.
Update 9:50 p.m. Residents are being allowed to return to their homes, Chief of Police Eddie Adamson said. At least one home is confirmed to have burned and Tri-County Electric says more than 1500 of its customers are without power.Adamson said several fences, outhouses and otherstructures also burned. Highway 54 remains closed.
Update 9:00 p.m. Officials say firefighters in Guymon were able to save several homes. It still remains unclear on the amount of structures lost in the city. The Elks Addition as well as areas south of Highway 54 remain closed. Officials are asking volunteers or those affected by the fire to go to the Red Cross Shelter at the Victory Memorial United Methodist Church.
Update 7:32 p.m. Evacuation orders remain in effect for the Elks Addition and areas south of Highway 54, Chief of Police Eddie Adamson said. He credits the front that arrived for allowing firefighters to get a handle on the blaze.
Update 7:28 p.m. Texas County Emergency Management says the grassfire is contained but firefighters are continuing to work on several structure fires. Officials were unable to give an exact number of houses of structures lost but eye-wintnesses tell Pronews 7 the fires have destroyed at least two homes and one business.
Update 7:05 p.m. Scanner traffic in Guymon shows the fire is almost contained but firefighters will need to stay through the night. The Guymon Daily Herald says some businesses are on fire.
Update 6:55 p.m. A disaster shelter has been opened at Victory Memorial United Methodist Church for those displaced.
Update 6:35 p.m. Officials tell Pronews 7 the flames in the Elks Addition are almost contained.
Update 6:22 p.m. Eyewitnesses on scene tell Pronews 7 at least one home is burning. Also, the Red Cross in Guymon is asking for volunteers. Volunteers can go to Victory Memorial United Methodist Chuch.
Update 6:02 p.m. Several homes are being evacuated and officials ask residents to prepare for more evacuations. Areas like Prairie
The City of Guymon has ordered evacuations for Elks Addition, Southwinds Mobile Home Park. That includes Highway 54 from SW 4th street to SW 7th street. City Manager Ted Graham says residents in areas all along Highway 54 on the west side of town from Sunset to Lakeview need to leave the area immediately.
City Officials say the fire is traveling up Hwy. 54, westbound. It's along the railroad tracks.
Graham is also asking all people sight-seeing to immediately leave the area. All hands are on deck.
Previously Harold Tyson, Texas County Emergency Management Director tells Pronews 7, firefighters in the area are working on fires southwest of Guymon.
He says about 20 homes are threatened and parts of the city are being evacuated. Highway 54 is closed west of Guymon.
Residents of Guymon said smoke is beginning to fill the city.