Numerous firefighters and emergency responders are on the scene or responding to the city of Jacksboro, Texas, approximately 60 miles northwest of Fort Worth, after a tornado has impacted the area.
At around 3:45pm, firefighters reported seeing the tornado as it tracked across Jack County and moved into western portions of Jacksboro.
Heavy damage to buildings and trees has been reported in several locations. Roof collapses have been reported in the W. College Street area. Trees are down across Highway 380 and potentially 281. Major damage has been reported at the high school.
All county fire departments have been dispatched to assist in the city.
We will be providing timestamped updates below.
4:15pm – EMS has been requested for a woman hit in the head by a flying object.
4:18pm – Gas leaks have been reported in the area. ATMOS requested for an emergency response.
4:27pm – Acid tank is leaking on Wesley Chapel, requesting HAZMAT response.
4:52pm – Fire and EMS commands have been set up. Jacksboro Fire Station is the command center.
The Fort Worth Police Department is investigating a fatality accident that occurred late Saturday night near the intersection of Oscar Avenue and 32nd Street.
At 10:38pm last night, Fort Worth firefighters, police officers, and MedStar paramedics were called to the scene after a vehicle crashed into a ditch. The department’s dive team originally responded after 9-1-1 calls indicated the vehicle was in the river.
Emergency responders found a wrecked vehicle in the ditch. Four people in the vehicle were transported to area hospitals, at least one with major injuries.
Police have charged the driver of the vehicle for intoxication assault. It is unclear if he or she is in police custody yet.
The Tarrant Regional Water District Police Department is investigating the death of an elderly woman at Eagle Mountain Lake. The accident occurred late Friday night.
Law enforcement says a pontoon boat was docking at the Twin Points boat ramp when an 81-year-old woman stumbled as she stepped off the boat and fell into the water.
Witnesses jumped in and rescued her from the water. Paramedics were called to check her out.
Azle EMS transported her to a local hospital where her condition worsened. She was airlifted to Texas Health Harris Fort Worth, but later died from injuries pertaining to the drowning, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal shooting that occurred on Saturday night near Crowley.
At around 8:45pm last night, Crowley paramedics and police along with TCSO deputies were called to the 4100 block of Great Belt Drive regarding a shooting. When paramedics arrived, they found an 18-year-old unconscious and suffering from a gunshot wound. He was quickly transported to JPS, but pronounced deceased at the hospital.
Responding officers learned the incident was reportedly a drive by shooting that occurred on Floyd Hampton Road, not far from the neighborhood. They responded to that area and located the suspects vehicle, occupied by two people who were taken into custody. They are both suspects in this case.
The Tarrant County Sheriffs Office is investigating the incident.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating a fatal motorcycle accident that occurred on Saturday evening along FM 917 in Johnson County.
At around 5:15pm, a motorcycle occupied by two people was traveling eastbound on FM 917 when the cyclist failed to navigate a curve in the roadway near Renfro Street. The motorcycle crashed, ejecting both occupants and hitting an oncoming vehicle.
The driver of the motorcycle, a 40-year-old man from Mansfield, was pronounced deceased at the scene. A 43-year-old woman riding on the back of the motorcycle was transported to a local hospital with injuries.
Lanes of FM 917 were closed while police investigated the scene.
Welcome to the second article in our series called #FastFive, where we provide five fast tips to educate and inform you on a variety of topics. For ten years, DFW Scanner has published daily news content, covering emergencies in communities across North Texas. Now, we are trying to do our part to not only keep you informed, but educated as well, to reduce these incidents and keep you safe.
Incidents of violent crime in our local neighborhoods have been widely reported here on DFW Scanner. It seems like half of the stories posted onto our site involve someone being shot. This has led many to ask the question: why so many shootings?
According to a recent FBI report, murder and nonnegligent homicide rates in the first six months of 2020 were up 15% when compared to the first six months of 2019. The same report also lists the south region of the United States as the only part of the country that has seen violent crime increase by 2.5%.
Most of the shootings that occur daily are not random. They are either domestic in nature (a partner or spouse) or known criminal activity (gangs, someone has beef with someone else). So, it’s important for us to tell you that the likelihood of being robbed and / or shot is very low; however, it is equally important for all of us to stay aware and deter any potential criminals from getting to that point.
Here are five fast ways to avoid being the victim of a robbery and potential shooting:
1) HIDE YOUR VALUABLES
Flashy tech watches and Ray-Ban sunglasses may be cool to wear, but they make you an easy target for a robbery. Whether you are headed out for a night on the town or running into a convenience store for a quick snack, you could be approached at any time of day or night. It is important to hide your belongings, such as your phone, purse / wallet, jewelry, to deter the robber from eyeing an attack.
If I am walking through a downtown area, especially at night, I take off my wedding ring and college ring (Gig ‘em Aggies) and put them in each pocket. I usually walk with my phone in my hand, just to make sure any suspecting criminals know I have a way to call police. I would recommend against putting your phone in a back pocket or shirt, as this may be an easy target for the robber.
Hiding valuables in your car is also important. While robbers look to strike when you are away from the car, reducing your risk of injury, you can deter them from breaking in by hiding any items you may be temporarily leaving in the car. For example, if you must stop at the gas station to fill up, make sure your phone and jewelry are hidden in the middle console or other concealed area. Personally, if I must leave my car for a quick second, I put my phone under the driver’s seat, because there is no way for anyone peeking in to see it. Of course, always roll up your windows and lock your doors.
DID YOU KNOW: Almost half of all robberies occur on the street. That is right – not at a bank or in your house. You are most likely to be robbed while out and about.
2) WHEN WALKING ALONE, STAY OFF YOUR PHONE AND TAKE OUT YOUR HEADPHONES
Robberies can occur at any time and on any day of the week; however, late in the evening and during the early overnight hours are the most prevalent. If you are out in public during those times, you are at an increased chance for a robbery.
If you walk to and from work, live in a walkable community such as a downtown area, or commonly exercise by walking, you should be very cautious when out and about. Stay aware of your surroundings by paying attention to where you are walking (stay off that phone!) and remove your headphones. Robbers tend to strike when the victim least expects it. Stay off your phone, take out your headphones while walking, and stay vigilant.
3) CHECK YOUR SURROUNDINGS WHEN WALKING TO AND FROM YOUR CAR
A common type of robbery is a carjacking. This allows the robber to rob you of your vehicle and take off in a hurry. If you are walking to or getting out of your vehicle, it is important to keep your eyes peeled for any suspected robbers.
Parking garages allow plenty of spaces for suspecting robbers to hide. If you are parked in a garage, it is best to have someone accompany you to your vehicle. Most robberies occur as a one-on-one interaction, so if two or more people are walking together, that will likely deter the criminal. Always park near the exits so you can leave quickly. If someone is following you, or a suspicious person is nearby, call 9-1-1 if you feel endangered.
Some of us leave or arrive home from work during the early morning or late evening hours when it is dark. Before you get out of your car, even at home, look around the neighborhood for any suspicious vehicles or persons. If you spot a car that is out of the ordinary, stay in your car with the doors locked. When you exit your vehicle, always stay vigilant and keep one eye on your surroundings. If you see a potential robber approaching, get in your vehicle, lock the doors, and leave immediately.
DID YOU KNOW: Most robberies occur between the hours of 8PM and 3AM
4) STAY IN LIT AREAS
One of the most common ways to deter robberies, and most crime, is to stay lit!
A robber is most likely to strike in a dark area, so the victim and any witnesses are unable to get a description of him or her.
If you are parking late at night, choose a spot that is well lit. If you are walking through a downtown area, always choose the side of the street that is lit with streetlights. You can always carry a small flashlight if you know you will be in a dark area, ripe for a crime to occur.
Most robberies avoid out in public, but you can always install additional lighting at your home to avoid a home invasion robbery.
5) AVOID ATMS AT NIGHT
ATMs are nice for a quick grab of cash, but they can also be bait for a suspecting robber.
If you must use an ATM, do it during the day. It is best to avoid ATMs and other cash-dispensing machines at night, even if you are at a drive-thru bank.
If it is an emergency, or you cannot wait, find an ATM that is in a well-lit area, such as a convenience store or quick store. Places like CVS are 24-hours and have ATMs inside. Get your cash and leave. Do not dilly dally!
These five tips will keep you safe from being the victim of a robbery and potential shooting; however, no one is exempt from such an event. You must also prepare for the moment that a robber may strike. If you fall victim to a robber, especially if he or she is armed, give up your possessions, especially if you are unable to adequately defend yourself. Your stuff is not worth loosing your life. Most robberies are done within a minute, so get as much information as you can about the suspect (gender, skin color, age, hair color, attire, etc).
Welcome to the first article in our series called #FastFive, where we provide five fast tips to educate and inform you on a variety of topics. For ten years, DFW Scanner has published daily news content, covering emergencies in communities across North Texas. Now, we are trying to do our part to not only keep you informed, but educated as well, to reduce these incidents and keep you safe.
As we welcome in our fall favorites, such as pumpkin spice, autumn decor, and Christmas music (for some of you early birds), it’s also time to dust off the warmer clothes and prepare for cooler weather. It is important to remember that heating devices, such as space heaters, and fireplaces can put your home at risk, if used flippantly. Let’s chat about a few ways to stay warm and free from disaster this winter season.
DID YOU KNOW: Heating equipment is the second leading cause of house fires in the United States.
1) Give your space heaters some space!
Space heaters are a great way to quickly warm up a room or lounge area. Although they are effective at providing quick heat, they are also dangerous if accidentally – or intentionally – left on for extended periods of time and close to furnishings, such as flammable furniture, drapes, blankets, etc.
The National Fire Protection Association says to leave your space heater 3 or more feet from anything or anyone. Heaters near curtains or blankets can quickly spark a fire and damage, or destroy, your home. Also be mindful of heaters left on and unattended – especially if you have small children!
The Dallas Fire Rescue recommends establishing a “kid-free zone” to ensure they do not get burned or injured.
From 2012 to 2016, 86% of home fire deaths involved a portable space heater, and the leading cause of ignition for those fire deaths was improperly placed equipment close to flammable materials. Between the years of 2009 and 2013, heating equipment caused an estimated 56,000 house fires, 470 deaths, and 1,490 injuries.
Just remember: if you do use a space heater, make sure it is properly placed and turned off when you head to bed!
2) Clean out your fireplace and chimney!
A warm, cozy fire in the fireplace and a Netflix binge seems to be on our to-do list, especially as many of us are staying home due to the pandemic; however, if not used properly, your fireplace could spark a serious fire that could damage or destroy your home.
Chimney fires occur when buildup ignites around the vent hole of the fireplace. Wood-burning fireplaces are much more likely to spark a fire, as compared to gas-burning fireplaces. You can reduce buildup in your vent and chimney by proper annual cleaning.
It is also important not to overload your fireplace. Some evenings are much colder than others, but a bigger fire in your fireplace is not necessarily the safest option. While it may be the warmest option, it is best to burn consistently throughout a length period of a time, not a bonfire!
Also – when you head to bed, make sure the fire is properly put out.
From 2009 to 2013, there were 17,910 house fires involving a fireplace or chimney resulting in a total of 30 deaths and 90 injuries.
“We recommend having your chimneys cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional,” says Jason Evans with the Dallas Fire Rescue.
Enjoy that fireplace, but make sure it is cleaned and ready to go before you ignite!
3) Keep an eye on the holiday décor!
Holiday décor, such as Christmas trees and candles, are family traditions in many of our homes. They brighten up our homes as we welcome close friends and family to celebrate special moments. But, don’t let the décor ruin your holidays – take extra precaution to ensure the safety of your family and home.
Firefighters across the United States responded to nearly 800 house fires related to holiday décor, excluding Christmas trees. In nearly half of those fires, the décor is too close to the heating source, such as an electrical wire or candle.
Christmas tree fires account for hundreds of house fires each year. Half of those fires involved electrical wiring or a heating source too close to the tree.
DID YOU KNOW: It only takes around 10-15 seconds for a small spark to fully ignite a dry Christmas tree?
A safer option would be a fake Christmas tree. These trees are less flammable since they do not require typical maintenance and water. But, just because your tree is fake doesn’t mean there is no risk. Make sure your tree is placed away from electrical outlets, your wiring is secure, and heating sources are kept at least three feet away from the tree.
4) Fry your meal – not your house!
If your family is like mine, there is no get together without a big meal. Food is an integral part of our family traditions. Cooking is one of the leading causes of house fires, many of which occur during the holiday and winter months.
Whatever you are cooking – whether it be a big bird or a big pie – make sure you do not leave the food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, turn off cooking sources to ensure a fire does not spark.
Keep flammable materials away from the cooking sources. Heating pads, plastic utensils, and paper goods can quickly ignite and spark a fire.
If you are frying a turkey in a deep fryer, please do so properly! Do not overload the fryer with too much cooking oil. When the oil is hot and ready to go, place the turkey into the fryer very slowly. If you do it too fast, the oil could splash out and spark a large fire.
And do not forget – if a grease fire sparks in your kitchen, either cut off oxygen flow (place a lid on the pan) or use powder to put the fire out. DO NOT throw water onto a grease fire!
5) Do not overload your electrical lines!
Electrical fires were the second leading cause of house fires between 2013 – 2016, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Electrical failures and malfunctions account for the highest number of fire deaths and damage. 40% of electrical-caused fires occur during the winter months.
If your home has older electrical infrastructure, it is important to watch the amount of electricity flowing through the lines. A fire may spark when high amounts of electricity are flowing through the lines. Do not overpower the outlets with high usage items, such as space heaters and holiday décor. If your outlets spark or smoke, call 9-1-1 immediately and evacuate the house.
Folks, it all boils down to common sense. Make sure you are using your heating and cooking elements properly to avoid a major disaster. We don’t want to feature your house fire on DFW Scanner!
Thanks for reading this first #FastFive article. If you have a tip for a future #FastFive, let us know!