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Despite wildfire, Texas prom goes on

FRITCH, Texas – Some students in the Texas Panhandle who lost their homes and possessions in last week’s wildfire partied at their prom in donated dresses and tuxedos.

The Sanford-Fritch High School prom was held Saturday night as scheduled – less than a week after a wildfire burned about 4 square miles near Fritch.

About 225 homes were destroyed in the fire, which broke out May 11 about 30 miles northeast of Amarillo, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. The fire likely will not be considered controlled or contained until sometime in the next week, forest service spokesman Troy Ducheneaux said.

More than 40 students in the Sanford-Fritch Independent School District lost their residences, including about a dozen youths planning to attend the annual junior-senior prom, Superintendent Jim McClellan said.

Several girls needed prom dresses and the community quickly responded as word spread mainly through social media, the administrator said.

“The prom dress thing is what’s really gone crazy,” McClellan said. “We needed four to five prom dresses and we now have a closet with more than 100.”

Individuals and businesses also donated tuxedos and flowers for the prom-bound students who lost their homes, he said.

“The uniqueness of kids losing things, that has caused a difference. We’re trying to get back to normalcy and business as usual as quickly as possible, from the school’s point of view,” McClellan said.