Wind-driven fires kill woman, child in East Texas

By the Associated Press | September 5, 2011 | 3:20 AM EDT

Virginia Esquivel, right, is comforted by her neighbor, Yolanda Rodriguez, after Esquivel's home in Cedar Park, Texas, burned on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. Two homes on the street were destroyed by the fire. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; AP MEMBERS ONLY

GLADEWATER, Texas (AP) — Longtime Texas sheriff Maxey Cerliano says it's the fastest-moving fire he's ever seen.

Six homes were toppled within minutes, including a trailer where a woman and her 18-month-old daughter were killed because they couldn't escape in time.

Authorities say the fires were propelled partly by the high winds caused by Tropical Storm Lee. Thousands of acres were burned in eastern and central parts of the state.

Cerliano says the two people were killed Sunday near the East Texas community of Gladewater. It's about 120 miles east of Dallas and 60 miles west of Shreveport, La. A man survived from the trailer with minor burns.

Numerous homes were destroyed in the area as well as a church and parts of a cemetery.