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26 homes damaged, including nine destroyed, in large grass fire in Balch Springs

The fire started in a nearby field and spread quickly to homes at Interstate 20 and South Beltline Road.

BALCH SPRINGS, Texas — A large grass fire in Balch Springs quickly spread and destroyed at least nine homes and damaged 17 more, according to city officials.

The fire happened Monday afternoon near the intersection of Interstate 20 and South Beltline Road near the Spring Ridge neighborhood.

An aerial view of the fire showed flames spreading through backyards and homes catching fire. Officials say at least 26 homes were affected by the fire.

It's believed the fire started after crews cutting grass on the nearby field may have struck a metal object, causing sparks, according to the Balch Springs city manager.

"From what we understand, it was a spark from the mowers and it just spread to the houses," city manager Susan Cluse said.

Cluse said she could see the thick, black smoke from city hall.

"When I called the fire chief and said did you know there's a fire and he said, 'yes ma'am everyone is on their way," Cluse said.

The fire was contained by 7 p.m., but crews will remain in the area into Tuesday morning to monitor hot spots.

There were no injuries reported, but an unknown number of residents were displaced.

Affected residents can meet with the American Red Cross at the Balch Springs Recreation Center at 4372 Shepherd Lane. Those residents can also call 972-557-6090 for more information.

Also if you would like to help those affected, please direct all donations to the Opal J. Smith Food Pantry located at 2919 Balch Springs Road. The contact number is 972-895-3117. Officials say the greatest need in monetary donations.

Israel Medina, who lives in the neighborhood, told WFAA he smelled something burning in the afternoon and ran outside his home, only to see darkness due to the smoke.

"It was pretty bad. I had to wear a mask because [the smoke] was getting to me. I had to drink a lot of water, I was having a hard time breathing," Medina said.

"I just saw families just grabbing their things and running out their door and just leaving," he said about the affected residents.

    

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