Even as midnight approached, helicopters flew above and landed on occasion in a neighboring field; fire trucks rushed passed honking their air-horns to alert bystanders that they were passing through. Crews of firefighters and police officers rotated through. The air was filled with the chatter of two-way radios and the smell of burnt diesel. And the ever-present wind remained.
One person who saw it all was Bonnie Cheatwood.
When the fires started in the afternoon, Cheatwood, executive director of the Midwest City Chamber of Commerce, was almost done wrapping up a busy workday. She started receiving calls from businesses wanting to donate sandwiches, water, drinks and sugary snacks — just about anything that could help those fighting the fires and the victims.
She spent a good part of the evening gathering food donations in her sport utility vehicle.
She delivered the donations to the command center and stayed to help however she could until about 3 a.m.
She downplayed her role in the efforts.
"These guys are out here risking their lives,” she said. "This is just a small thing I can do.”