The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

September 2, 2011

Crabbs Prairie claims more homes, 1,700 acres

HUNTSVILLE — On its second day, the Crabbs Prairie fire claimed more Walker County homes and burned 1,700 acres.

In addition, the fire destroyed a deer camp, three barns, two sheds, a travel trailer, motor home and a 6-wheel ATV. But, as of 6 p.m. Thursday, evacuation orders for 14 homes in the Hopewell Road area were lifted, and displaced residents were allowed to return.

Not everyone had a home left when the smoke cleared. Homes on Hopewell Road and Ron Walker Lane off Scales Ranch Road were destroyed in the blaze.

One of these homes, this one on Hopewell Road, has been owned for decades by the Rasch family, which they called 6R Ranch. Four generations have used the home for vacations, weekend retreats and making family memories. Family members posted their feelings about the loss of their longtime weekend retreat on Facebook on Thursday.

Steven Rasch, reached by phone, told The Item about the home his grandfather built.

“For all my years growing up, it was a place we went two to three weekends a month,” he said. “We spent a lot of time there.”

Rasch and his family members still frequented the home and did some improvements just one month ago.

“It’s pretty hard. There’s a lot of memories everybody has of the house and growing up in the house,” he said. “My generation, my brothers and cousins, we went up there quite a bit during our childhood. My dad and his brother and sister are busted up about it because they spent a lot of time helping build the place.”

The only thing standing after Wednesday’s blaze was the chimney. Made from local river rocks, it was the one feature of the house his grandmother fought to have built, Rasch said.

“That was the one thing she really wanted,” he said. “She always said that would be the only thing left standing. It was the heart of the house.”

Rasch’s father, brothers and cousin traveled to Hopewell Road on Thursday to survey the damage and see if anything could be salvaged.

“Hopefully there’s some things we can save,” he said. “If or when we rebuild, there may be something we can put in there to remember it by.”

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