Wildfire turns into theft investigation - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Wildfire turns into theft investigation

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - What started as a wildfire has now turned into a theft investigation.

Authorities say a stolen trailer with two flat tires ignited a fire Tuesday night along I-20 and, near Highway 271, burning about thirty acres.

Officials say that the trailer was stolen about a year ago in Dallas, and the man pulling it had no idea.

Flames and smoke loomed over the night sky forcing two homes to evacuate.

Charlene Timmons says fire destroyed her home about five years ago, and she could not imagine going through that again.

"I thought it was going to be gone. I just felt bad. It just devastated me. I just couldn't believe it from how close it was and everything. I thought for sure it was gone," says Timmons.

As fire crept closer to their homes, Ellis Johnson still resisted evacuation.

Reluctantly, Johnson did eventually evacuate after several warnings. He and his neighbor are thankful that today, their homes are still standing.

The US Forest Service crews secured the fire line Wednesday morning.

Timmons says it's a relief to know that someone continues to watch over her home.

"I don't want to go through that again. It's hard to start all over again with all your memories and pictures of your parents and stuff like that and you don't want that and so many people have gone through that here lately," Timmons expressed.
A disaster she and her neighbor were able to avoid.

The driver of the trailer that sparked the fire was charged with reckless destruction.

However, he will not be charged in the theft.

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