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. Allen G

    Yes thank you Rowan for the dribble!!!!!!!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Christian

    As a Christian I have to tell you all how frustrating it is when people like May make God out to be some kind of vengeful tyrant, and when things don't go the way God wants them to he firebombs the world as punishment. And then they point to Rick Perry as some sort of Jesus Christ of the USA. Let me tell you people, if Rick Perry was alive when Jesus was, he would have helped crucify him. Christianity is nothing more than a solid platform to run on for that man. God loves EVERYONE, even Obama and Osama. If you claim to be a Christian and can't understand that, I pity you.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • auloria

      As a non-Christian, I completely agree with you.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • RED

      May is running on Old Testamant logic, you're running on New Testament logic.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Christian

      Yes, you're right, and every Christian should know that the New Testament supersedes the Old Testament. If you not a Christian that is your right, but its my job and every Christian's job to love you just the same, not tell you that God is going to burn you for eternity. When you hear Christians preaching damnation rather than love, you can write them off as not understanding what God is all about.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Anomic Office Drone

      I wish more people who call themselves Christian lived it like you do instead of just saying it like so many others.

      September 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jennyy

    man, i wish it would stop raining here.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. RED

    As terrible as this distaster is, it gives us an opportunity to see how Rick Perry reacts in a crisis situation, and whether or not he will even make the motions to help those who have been made homeless by this crisis.

    If Hurricane Irene taught us anything, it taught us that people like Perry are willing and able to throw the general public under the bus.

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

      Texas already knows how Perry responds to a crisis, look back at Rita and Ike. Perry's been around a while and has an 11-year record for your viewing pleasure.

      As for the fire, I'm really hoping that low pressure system in the south of the gulf gets up some steam and heads north very soon.

      September 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Do you mean the after life in the ground 6 ft under???

    September 6, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nugz

    I think Perry needs to pray harder for rain since he cut the firefighters budget.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Optimist

    I like to think sometimes that the folks at CNN hire people to deliberately post ignorant garbage just to incite arguments and debate on these message boards. That way I can pretend we don't actually have as many small-minded, insensitive, inhumane morons as it appears.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @optimist: embrace the horror

      September 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • lkinaustin

      That's a nice thought, Optimist, but unfortunately I think the lunatics have taken over the asylum. It's pretty obvious by the comments I read regularly all over the internet – not just CNN.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |

    @auloria rember when you were little every body said ohhh the worlds ending? isnt it convienient for the holy ers to do it still? I dont mind other peoples opinions till they get shoved down my throat daily so they can push the guilt trip!! I m just like you.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. kim kennedy

    I live in NE Texas. There are two fires burning in my county. All the countys around us also have fires burning out of control. Yesterday you could go outside and see all the black smoke in the distance rising from these fires. Today the winds have died down and the smoke has settled to ground level. It is so thick it it is burning our noses and throats. So instead of putting down Rick PePerry who has no control over this disaster and making crude remarks such as burn baby burn.why don't you say a prayer for us. We are human beings just like you. And we as Texans would never wish this on you or the states you live in. God bless to all of you that have sent us your thoughts and prayers!

    September 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      How are collin, rockwall, and tarrant counties doing?

      September 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Linda ```````````````~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hey guys, will you visit HelpFaye.ORG. a friend of mine is fighting for her life.... Thank you ...

    September 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. James

    get a free iphone 5 today at freeiphonenow dot com

    September 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nedly

    Linda: Mary Faye and her husband David are doing just fine sponging off of the public. Take your shill elsewheren and take David, Amy, and Trish with you.

    September 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fernace

    I live in Austin, 40 min. from Bastrop the town & Bastrop the county is our neighbor, along with Hays , Williamson etc.! Let me put things in perspective so the comedyjokers can go crack their jokes at a less serious thread! Over 500 families have lost their homes & all their belongings, the Steiner Ranch area especially hard hit! Over 5000 persons are evacuated & in shelters! There are, at last count, 6-7 serious fires in the Hillcountry area, Austin is surrounded by fire! Because of the drought & low lake levels, fighting the blazes is tricky! My friend, who owns a house (inheritance from parents), 5 mi. from Bastrop, has no idea about the status of his house at this time, his tenant was evacuated! People have to find out from a church bulletin board if their homes are standing or not! My family in Houston called to make sure I'm OK & to let them know if they need to come get me! People are trying to go on with life as usual, chaos is all around & we're on high alert!! No more jokes, please!!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Anomic Office Drone

    Hang in there Texas. We're all pulling for you guys to make it through this as safely as possible, even us out here in California.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fernace

    Thanks to Anomic Office Drone & other posters for sending good thoughts & prayers to my seriously compromised state! I've lived through this in Cali, several years ago, so special thanks to those who know what we're going through! 1 thing people can do now is put canned, non-perishables & lots of bottled water in your grocery store donation bin! Thanks to all Americans who pull together in times of need! I know all natural disaster areas of this year, incl. Tx. are extremely appreciative!!

    September 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
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