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Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Families Grieve Homes Lost to Fire


Victims of Balch Springs fire return to their homes. | Image by WFAA

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Families in Balch Springs returning to their homes on Wednesday found them demolished by the fast-moving grass fire that swept through their neighborhood.

As reported previously in The Dallas Express, a dangerous grass fire destroyed nearly 10 homes on Monday. The flames caused over $6 million in property damage, impacting 27 homes in the area — dry, arid, and windy conditions combined to provide a perfect storm for wildfires.

Mitch Ryan and his wife Rachel were among those who lost their home during the fire.

Ryan grieved, saying, “We’ve had first-time memories that were lifetime memories we’ve had here… It’s just so upsetting to know that we [have] got to leave all that.”

However, the pair expressed hope, and he offered this encouragement: “God has a bigger plan for us.”

Another victim of the wildfire, Wilfredo Gomez, explained that the disaster had rocked his family, which lost the home they had lived in for 14 years.

“For it to be gone…their life savings was in there,” Gomez said. “Like, man, all our clothes, their anniversaries, wedding, everything – family pictures. Everything is gone.”

The devastation “brought us back 20 years,” he said.

In response to the tragedy, many in the community have stepped up to provide aid and help to the affected families. The Opal J. Smith Food Pantry and the Sharing Life organization accepted donations to assist those affected by the blaze. Additionally, the American Red Cross established an emergency shelter in a local recreation center to house those who lost their homes.

Help came from all over. For example, the Fire for the Lord BBQ food truck traveled from Garland to the neighborhood and supplied over 300 free meals to families and first responders.

Inspired by their Christian faith, they encouraged their social media followers on Wednesday with a verse from Psalm 30:2, “Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”

Owner Angel Espinoza explained, “I feel like there’s a desperate call right now for the community to come together; let’s get prayed up, and let’s take the initiative to help and serve.”

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