According to local reports, more than a dozen homes in Texas were utterly destroyed by a fire on Monday, believed to have been started by a lawn mower.
At least 14 homes were burned to the ground, and six more were damaged when a large grass fire spread rapidly through a Balch Springs neighborhood in Dallas County on Monday afternoon, WFAA reported.
Authorities believe the fire broke out when mowing crews in a nearby field may have hit a metal object, causing sparks that burned the lawn, Balch Springs city manager told the local outlet.
Flames quickly spread across the countryside to at least 20 homes near Interstate 20 and South Beltline Road intersection due to dry conditions and high winds.
Dramatic aerial footage shows roaring flames and smoke rising from homes and over a large expanse of land. Other videos revealed houses completely leveled by fire.
The Spring Ridge neighborhood where the fire broke out was evacuated. Some residents had just a few minutes to leave their homes and were forced to leave all their belongings behind.
“I lost everything. Just everything,” Miguel Quiñónez told the Dallas Morning News.
Quiñonez told the outlet that he had lived in his house with his wife for almost 14 years and had just bought a truck that also burned down in the garage.
Another homeowner was at work when people texted him that his house was on fire.
“It’s just sad. I don’t really care about all the clothes and stuff,” Michael Jaramillo told the Dallas Morning News. “I’m thinking about the things I can’t get back, the pictures of my brothers and sisters and all that.”
The Balch Springs community has established a temporary shelter at their recreation center for those seeking shelter due to the fire. The American Red Cross works with the city to provide accommodations for displaced families.
At the moment, no injuries have been reported.
The devastating fire comes as North Texas fire departments are on high alert. Ongoing drought and unusually high temperatures have made the state fire-prone.