Fire marshal: Lake Brownwood wildfire caused by winds striking power lines

A Lake Brownwood wildfire that destroyed the homes of two soldiers was started by high winds hitting power lines that created an electrical surge that dropped small embers on the grass, according to Brownwood's Fire Marshal.

The fire turned Loren Pogue's home on the 7000 block of Killarney Drive into ashes and took his most treasured possessions, including an American Flag signed by soldiers he served with in Iraq.

Brownwood Fire Marshal Buddy Preston said this is the fifth structure fire since Jan. 10 that began as a grass fire.

"When the first units got there, the entire house was not on fire," Preston said. "But the way the wind was blowing, it blew into and underneath the house."

A combination of the weather conditions and the embers added fuel to Tuesday's fire, which also destroyed a trailer next to Pogue's house. A fellow soldier was living in the trailer, which turned into ashes within minutes.

Both soldiers are Texas National Guard members based at Camp Bowie and they were not home at the time.

But Preston said fire crews stopped the flames before they destroyed another home.

"Embers had jumped the road and gone down an embankment. They jumped onto a second dirt land and burned some more brush. They burned up to a third house that actually has some damage," Preston said.

He credited the Bangs, Lake Brownwood Bridge, Lake Brownwood Dam and Early fire departments for putting out the blazes.

Since Monday, there have been at least two fires in Brown County.

Although the county is currently under a burn ban, Preston said people should be proactive.

"Be cognizant of the temperature, wind, surroundings and humidity levels. Just take a lot of caution right now," Preston said.

The fire marshal also recommended that people clean up the brush and grass in front of their homes.

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