HOUSTON - The raging wildfire in Grimes County has consumed some 6,000 acres, destroyed dozens of structures and injured two people. It has also brought to light some unsung heroes, including one nicknamed Angel Dozer.
Part of the raging wildfire swept over Dry Gulch with furious speed.
It crossed 200 acres in 12 minutes, Rancher Dean Eversole said.
What saved several homes in the area? Firefighters, helicopters, a 3.5 mile fire line and Eversole.
The (fire) line - we did in the middle of the night, in the dark, he said.
I was up for nearly two straight days before I ever went to sleep, he said, pointing to his bulldozer.
With a quiver in his voice, he is quick to point to the hard work of others.
My heart gets weak to see people sacrifice for other people, he said.
Even as he spoke, he got another call from another neighbor. She said a tree caught back on fire. He hopped in his bulldozer and plowed thru the backwoods.
Melinda Jensen met him in a utility vehicle and led him to the hot spot. Flames burned at the base of the 70-foot pine.
Eversole went to work, clearing an area around the pine and the pushing the dozer against it. The treetops swayed back and forth as the bases crackled against the weight of the shovel.
We just called him the angel on the dozer, Jensen quipped. I called different people and nobody was around, so I called Dean and he was here in 10 minutes.
In 10 more minutes, the job was done.
Much more dramatic for this Vietnam veteran was what fell from the sky earlier in the day desperately needed rain.
I started crying. It was just a blessing. I m sorry. So many people s lives are at stake. You can t just imagine what it does to people to lose everything they have, said Eversole as he choked back tears.
Eversole's Pastor, Jack Jeter, stood nearby. Eversole had saved Jeter's home twice. The Pastor of the Union Grove Baptist Church smiled and said he thought that God would probably say, Well Done. Well Done, Dean.