Residents Return After Fires

3-2-06 - Several hundred people who were forced to leave their homes Wednesday because of wildfires in Stephens County were allowed to return Thursday.

Two fires in the county Wednesday burned about 8,000 acres, forced more than 500 people from their homes, destroyed more than 30 homes and injured seven firefighters including one critically. Deputy Sheriff Andrea Richards says the situation is calm this afternoon and no other homes are in danger. Richards says families are now trying to assess the damage to their homes and property. She says investigators suspect the fires were the work of an arsonist.

Meanwhile, firefighter Destry Horton remains in critical condition at Integris Baptist Medical Center with injuries suffered while fighting the fires.