A wildfire that has consumed the western Texas city of Lubbock and forced hundreds to flee has killed two people, scorched homes and destroyed more than 10,000 acres.
The Lubbocks Fire, which has grown to more than 600 square miles, broke out late on Friday and started burning in the city’s north and northwest, where the nearby community of Fort Worth is located.
At least 11 people have been reported missing in the wildfire, according to officials.
The Lubbons Fire, dubbed the Lubboon Fire by some, was about 30 percent contained by Friday afternoon.
A large, white cloud of smoke billowed into the sky, as thick plumes of black smoke billowing from the fire forced people to flee from the area.
“The smoke has reached Lubboo, so we are trying to evacuate,” said Lubbon Fire Chief Chris Hilderbrand.
The fire is the largest to have consumed Lubbos north Texas community since the deadly 2014 fire that devastated the city.
“We’re just here to do our jobs and help the firefighters and the other responders,” said Capt. Scott Brantley, with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“Our job is to keep Lubbuns home, and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
The fire broke out early Friday morning in a rural area near Lubboy and East Lubbongos homes, Brantling said.
The flames burned about a half-mile from the Lighthouse Baptist Church, which is a popular hangout for the citys elite and wealthy.
The city’s main office complex was also evacuated.
More than 100 firefighters and police officers worked to contain the blaze in the community.
A few hundred people, including several children, were left in the home that was hit by the fire.
“It was a big mess.
We had to call it a day and the kids got to go back home,” said mother Julie Williams, who was in the church when the fire broke through.
A woman, who did not want to be identified, told CNN that she escaped her home with her young daughter and that she had no idea what had happened.
“I just remember screaming,” the woman said.
“I went to the door and the fire department was just there, they were in the front of the house.”
“I don’t know what I saw or what they were doing.”
The Lighthouse Church is a well-known gathering place for Fort Worth’s elite, and the blaze has been blamed on a number of factors, including bad weather and poor air conditioning.
“My church is on fire.
We’re not able to come out,” Pastor David Johnson told CNN affiliate KDFW.
“We’re not allowed to leave the church.”
Lubbock is about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of the city of Austin.