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Deadly crash, dozens of fire calls mark busy start to new year for first responders

The Austin Fire Department responded to 120 calls in the first two hours of the new year.

AUSTIN, Texas — A deadly crash in South Travis County and dozens of fire calls got 2022 off to a busy start for Austin-area first responders.

Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) reported that one adult patient died at the scene of a crash on South US 183, near State Highway 45, at around 6 a.m. Saturday morning. ATCEMS said a driver crashed into a tree, then the tree caught on fire. The driver died a short time later. 

ATCEMS said drivers should expect delays in the area while crews are working the scene. Avoid the area if possible. 

It was also a busy start to 2022 for the Austin Fire Department.

Just a few minutes before midnight, firefighters responded to a brush fire on Falwell Lane, near the Austin airport and just east of Highway 130. There is no word as to what started that fire.

According to AFD, the department received more than 120 calls in the first two hours of the new year, including 18 dumpster fires.

Firefighters also put out a fire in East Austin early Saturday morning. Fortunately, that fire was contained to a trash can and fence. AFD said it started because of fireworks that were discarded when they were still hot.

Firefighters responded to yet another fire Saturday morning on Sheraton Avenue. A dog was rescued, but AFD said it appeared no one else was home. ATCEMS treated one bystander who was injured while breaking windows. AFD said the main fire was confined to the carport, but there is smoke and heat damage throughout. One adult is displaced. The cause of the fire was accidental and related to cooking.

AFD, along with crews from Kyle, also helped Travis County Fire Rescue respond to a grass fire near Buda late New Year's Eve. Travis County Fire Rescue said the flames were under control shortly before 10:40 p.m. and officials believe fireworks caused the fire.

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