"Neighbors began banding together as soon as the fires threatened their homes. About 150 firefighters — many of whom went days without sleep — battled the fire for 11 days, said Chief Ken Van Rens of the Pedernales Fire Department. Mark Creaney Sr., a 62-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, said a handful of homeowners stayed behind to help fight the flames that consumed homes along Paleface Ranch Road. He credits them for saving his house.
In the scramble of the evacuation, residents also set up their own command posts and used a school bus routing map to keep track of where aid was needed, Creaney said. When scavengers and looters began prowling the area, residents of about 50 homes off Red Brangus Drive formed a makeshift neighborhood watch group that took turns doing surveillance over the area almost 24 hours a day."