September 6th, 2011
09:30 AM ET

Texans flee wildfire through road of flames

As the sun set on an airport hotel parking lot in Austin, Texas, Roger Cosby needed to tell his story.

He had just witnessed a sight that many Texans are battling - a devastating wildfire.

The state's largest blaze, a massive, uncontained fire in Bastrop County near Austin, has scorched some 25,000 acres, destroyed at least 470 homes and forced about 5,000 residents to evacuate.

That wildfire on Sunday was near the house Cosby shares with his companion of nine years, Cindy Boyd.

Cosby was taking a nap, while Boyd was working in their shop, making decorative plates.

Then Boyd smelled smoke.

"Roger, we have to go now, we have to go now," Cosby recalls Boyd saying as she woke him.

The Bastrop home that Boyd has lived in for 26 years was on fire.

Cosby says quickly jumped into their car with a few belongings and sped down a long driveway with flames surrounding them on both sides.

"It was like opening the door of an oven," Cosby says.

He says he fears they have lost everything: the house, a workshop, a greenhouse, a truck and worst of all - six acres of trees surrounding the house.

Roger Cosby holds decorative plates, some of the few possessions he was able to salvage.

"It was Cindy's forest," says Cosby, standing next to their getaway car.

He says they hope to return to the house on Tuesday for the first time since the fire to see if anything survived.

"It's all gone. There is no way anything could be left," Cosby struggles to say.

Boyd's forest is now likely a scorched, version of the area she loved so much. They assume charred limbs are all that remain.

Cosby says they have no plans to rebuild on the land they love so much because they believe it will never be the same.

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Filed under: Fire • Natural Disasters • Texas
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. gottasayit

    I almost have to laugh . . . not about the fires. The fires are horrible and I feel terrible for all being driven from their homes. The blabber and put downs of Rick Perry almost make me laugh. It's obvious, RP scares the Democrats out of their wits. He's more of a threat to Obama than any other Republican running and they know it. 🙂 Their only chance is to start now, start early ripping him to pieces.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • May

      God's blessings to Rick Perry.

      September 6, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      Thanks... I needed a good laugh.

      September 6, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Lol. He's the front runner, they say.. Doesn't matter who or what he/she is.

      September 6, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Counting Wizard

      Its true: Rick Perry is a slick con-man and probably the only Republican that stands a chance of being elected. He's also one of the most crooked and incompetent Governors that Texas has ever had, and the damage that he and his appointees have done to the state will last for generations. Four years after being elected as President, America would mirror the condition of Mexico more than it does today. The problems we have are systemic, and Rick will only hurry us along to a country filled with poor people and a scattering of walled off villas of the wealthy.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Counting Wizard

      Correction: All the poor people will be in privatized prisons that the wealthy pay for.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. Allen G

    wilbur your killin me!! hhhaaaaahhaa! please don t stop now!

    September 6, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. loudiddy

    ppl can be ignorrant n a time of crisis

    September 6, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. tyree

    goobers is funny.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Allen G

    Shaved taco its your upper lip you are smellen

    September 6, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. May

    These fires, floods and tornados are a direct result of the bombing of Egypt, Lybia, Sirya and Yemmon. God is NOT happy with what we are doing in the Holy Land. We can thank Obama's muslim sympathies for this strife.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      You want to share those drugs you're on? What a load of road apples!!!

      September 6, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Did they not teach science at your school?

      September 6, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Luke

      Then why has god targeted Batrop, TX and not Obama himself?

      September 6, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Re: may. @banasy: see? This is what we're dealing with lol

      @may: kindly keep your god away from me. Why would anyone worship some huge hate monster that slaughters innocents because it's 'unhappy'.

      Not many do. Just you, and a few other terrorists around the world.

      We'll get you all rounded up sooner or later. Ever been to cuba?

      September 6, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • vikk

      Really? You really think God works that way? Really??? Just cant believe anyone is ignorant enough to think that.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. s kel

    Duhhh Yuck Yuck GG you " ignet" red state hick, you so funny.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. Justin Bieber's Colon

    Gee, you'd think that Rick Perry's "close relationship with God" would come in handy here. Oh well.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. DDanny1

    Wow! Just think how bad it would of been if not for Perry's designated "Day of Prayer" in June to end the drought, and "The Response", his all day fast and prayer event held at Reliant Stadium in August. It would have made the Apocalypse look like a Sunday church social. God obviously not only listens to Perry, he responds. In a pretty big way.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Allen G

    Shavedtaco cnn wont print my response to you but Wilbur is funny and I laughed for a long time I dont know why you can be beach and I dont get to give you what you should hear right on wilbur!!!!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. AIRDog

    In the land of Jesus and denial of global warning this could not happen to a better state.

    Now their begging for federal disaster support..... please. Have the gov hold another prayer vigil and all will be better.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Believer In Texas

      God never said thing would be easy and that bad things wouldn't happen. Quite the contrary. Evil is in the world and God has given dominion over the earth to Satan (for a time). God wants all people to seek him out and he will forgive us of our sins and transgressions and we will spend forever with him. If you choose to ignore God and not believe then that choice will be granted too. You will spend eternity separated from God and there is no perfect way of explaining what that will be like other than describing it as extreme anquish. The anguish of being separated from God, who provides all good things and being with evil who brings only misery, is beyond some people’s comprehension. I would much rather suffer and be ridiculed and made fun of in this life and spend eternity with Jesus and God than to have everything in this life and spend eternity separated from God. I'll trust in God and you can trust in the government.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rowan

    Hey, y'all, counting all the fires currently burning within a 50-mile radius of Austin, close to 700 families are now homeless. This doesn't cover the fires in Northeast Texas, or West Texas. We've lost 30,000 acres of historic pine forest left over as a glacial pocket from the last Ice Age, including over 2/3 of Bastrop State Park and Depression-era CCC-built structures that have stood for almost 80 years. Our firemen have been on the front lines against brutal heat (which finally broke *down* into the 90-degree range for the first time in two months yesterday), some of them for over 24 hours at a shift. We are begging assistance from other states, and it is slowly coming. High winds Sunday drove the Bastrop Complex Fire 16 miles, and it is still fully uncontained. There are over fifty active wildfires in Eastern Texas alone.

    People are fighting fires in their backyards, and in their neighbors' backyards, with hoses and buckets and water lines from their stock tanks. The Austin Humane Society took in the animals from the Bastrop Shelter Sunday night, fostering them out to local Austinites' homes in a matter of hours. Large animal rescues are placing horses, llamas, cattle, and goats in temporary homes, including suburban backyards and city parks. Some of the animals have been badly singed. There is a zoo in the path of the flames; the only comment from the owner to the media yesterday was "No, I don't have time for a statement, because I am evacuating a zoo."

    The wildlife, the deer and rabbits and foxes and coyotes, have run for their lives into populated areas where they're being hit by cars and attacking people's pets. The drought this year was so bad that populations of deer are already low; some populations will be completely wiped out.

    There is no rain. Here in Austin there has been less than an inch of rain since early spring, and before that no rain since September. We're desperate for a hurricane, a storm, some sort of system coming up from the Gulf, but all we got from Tropical Storm Lee was high winds and sunshine. We're watching our state burn, using all our resources to save lives where we can't save homes, and the weather forecast says it will get worse before it gets better.

    But hey, yeah, y'all just keep on making trashy jokes and political hay out of it, because gods forbid you take a massive natural disaster affecting tens of thousands of people seriously.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Phyllis Romero

      I am sorry and praying for my neighbors in Texas. God bless you all!

      September 6, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @rowan: i hear you, brother. Most of the people you are referring to are children with nothing better to do.

      I appreciate you taking the time to bring us into the fires. When they're just reporting big numbers, it's hard to not be numbed.

      Words cannot express my concern for my neighbors in texas – my home, for a long time. Keep on keepin' on, and my fingers are crossed for you.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Thank you, Rowan. Bastrop was my home for years. I no longer live there but understand the house that was "home" is no longer there. My heart goes out to all my old neighbors and wish them safety and the knowledge that this too shall pass.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Quanah, TX

      Thank you so very much for your post, and for putting into honest, heartfelt words what is happening to our wonder, beautiful state and fellow Texans. I don't understand why so many hate Texas and Texans so badly!!! I also don't understand what happened to compassion, intelligence, faith, and so much more.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. Allen G


    September 6, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. Johnny Cash

    Road Of Flames? Is that like a Ring Of Fire?

    September 6, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. barbara

    Reading the remarks made here, it is easy to see why we are in such a mess. What drivell! Thank you Rowan – the only remarks worth reading.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
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