Evacuees return home as firefighters continue to work brush fire in Cedar Park
Carrie Muraca said she felt "blessed" that her home was spared when a brush fire burned down a building in her Cedar Park apartment complex Tuesday night.
"[I feel] incredibly thankful," she said after first responders let her return to her home in the morning.
Muraca and hundreds of other residents of the Bexley at Silverado and Whitestone Landing apartment complexes were evacuated after the fire broke out.
The fire destroyed one building and damaged two others at Muraca's complex on West Parmer Lane.
"I was convinced there was gonna be damage," she said inside her home.
A few hundred yards away, firefighters continued to work to put out flames and hotspots. City officials asked Cedar Park water customers not to water outdoors through Friday in an effort to conserve for firefighting efforts.
"It's really important for us to get all our tanks and towers recharged as soon as possible because as long as this heat and wind continue, there's still danger, you know, not just from this fire, but there could be other fires," Mayor Jim Penniman-Morin said.
As of Thursday morning, the fire had burned about 37 acres and was 75% contained, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
City officials said two first responders had minor injuries as a result of the fire.
"My heart just goes out to the people that are in Building 10. My neighbors showed me a picture, and it's basically hollowed out," Muraca said, referring to the building that was destroyed. "You know, here I am worried about restocking my refrigerator and freezer, and they're gonna have to restock their whole apartment."
The American Red Cross is providing assistance to people affected by the fire. Those needing assistance can call the organization's Austin office at 1-800-733-2767.
The City of Cedar Park has also partnered with the Central Texas Community Foundation to create the Parmer Lane Fire Recovery Fund. All of the money raised will be distributed through an application process administered by the city and the foundation.