Tire fire forces evacuation of Texas town

May 26, 2009 10:59:50 AM PDT
Officials in Texas say toxic smoke from a blaze in a heap of old tires has forced officials to evacuate residents and close schools in the small East Texas town of Hawkins. Hawkins police Lt. A.J. Randell said Tuesday that firefighters had contained the fire that started Monday night in a pile of about 40,000 tires.

Randell said about 400 residents of the town of 1,500 people were cleared out by midmorning Tuesday. He said a nursing home also was being evacuated.

No injuries were reported.

Randell said the fire was being investigated as arson. He said the tire lot had been unattended for about a year.

Hawkins is about 100 miles east of Dallas.

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