RED OAK – Firefighters spent several hours extinguishing a grass fire that burned about 20 acres Tuesday evening. First responders from around the area responded to a call in the 300 block of Lee Street at 5:10 p.m.

The fire was caused by a resident burning trash, with the fire getting out of control, Red Oak Fire Chief Eric Thompson said.

“Initial units responded to Lee Street – where they could not gain access – and we started requesting for mutual aid early on,” Thompson said. “We had engine companies report to homes on the end of the streets for structure protection. There were homes threatened by the fire on Lee, Savannah, Ellis and Bond streets.

“There were difficulties in access due to the fact that we had to make our own access points (through tree and brush lines) to get to the fire,” he said. “Fire was also in the tree tops and coming across the trees.”

Thompson said firefighters used brush trucks, which are off-road four-by-four vehicles, to attack ahead of the fire with water. The wind blew embers several hundred feet in front of the fire, starting several spot fires, he said, saying those eventually merged with the main body of the fire.

One storage shed was lost to the blaze, but no homes were lost or damaged. As the fire was approaching homes, area residents were evacuated. The Interstate 35E service road near Tater Brown also was shut down.

Ten brush trucks, three engine companies, a water tanker and an ambulance from East Texas EMS were on scene, with mutual aid received from the Ovilla, Dallas, Lancaster, Waxahachie, Glenn Heights and Ferris fire departments. Assisting also were members of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Ellis County Constable Offices, the Glenn Heights Police Department, the Red Oak Police Department and the Department of Public Safety.

Thompson said Ellis County fire investigator Jim Pharr issued the resident a citation for violating the burn ban, which remains in effect.

Contact Andrew at or 469-517-1451.