An Eastland County, TX, sheriff's deputy died Thursday night while trying to help people evacuate from wildfires.
According to the Eastland County Sheriff's Office, Sgt. Barbara Fenley, 51, was going door-to-door to help people evacuate, FOX4 reports.
"While evacuating people and going door-to-door, Fenley was last heard that she was going to check on an elderly individual. With the extreme deteriorating conditions and low visibility from smoke, Sgt. Fenley ran off the roadway and was engulfed in the fire,” a statement from the Eastland County Sheriff’s Office says. "Sgt. Fenley gave her life in the service of others and loved her community.”
Fenley's sister-in-law, Anna Olvera, told NBC5 that Fenley was driving to help an elderly woman when she lost control of her vehicle.
"She was a good woman. She loved her community, she loved her job, and she died doing what she liked to do," Olvera said.
At a press conference Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott presented Olvera with a folded flag that had been hanging outside the state capitol.
Fenley joined the Eastland County Sheriff’s Office in 2013. Prior to that, she spent six years as the police chief of Gorman.