PALO PINTO COUNTY — "We need prayers from everybody in Texas and the whole world," said evacuee Sylvia Overton. "I don't know if my house is going to be OK, I really don't."
We first met Overton on Tuesday when she escaped from her home at The Cliffs just minutes before the fire spread through her neighborhood.
On Wednesday, we found her snatching up clothing at the Harbor Inn again as the fire drew closer, spreading to the peninsula and burning more homes in The Cliffs.
"Where Oak Tree and Bay Hill Circle go, three houses went up," Overton said. "We saw those three houses explode in flame."
As homeowners and guests streamed out with suitcases, the Harbor Inn's sales director borrowed a privately-owned fire truck and stationed himself at a ridge — watching as the fire grew closer to jumping an inlet of Possum Kingdom Lake.
Sheriff Ira Mercer evacuated the Harbor and Ranch developments as well as the rest of the peninsula. Were residents heeding his urgent warning?
"I hope they do; if they don't, we're taking their information so we can notify their next of kin," he said.
More than a dozen more homes and buildings burned on Wednesday, bringing the two-day total to 39. The flames overran nine deer camps as well.
"Compared to what it was this morning, we're back to square one," Shefiff Mercer said. "It's as back or worse than it was yesterday."
There have been several reports of injuries, but Mercer said none were believed to be serious — consisting mainly of scratches, twisted ankles and some minor burns.