Even before the Bastrop conflagration came to be known as the costliest wildfire in Texas history, Dave E. Talbert and employees of the insurance company he leads were on the scene, handing out hot dogs to the blaze’s victims.

“We took shifts,” says the CEO of Hochheim Prairie Farm Mutual Insurance of Yoakum, Texas, recalling the aftermath of the September 2011 devastation. “We’re less than 100 miles away. You could smell the fire at our office.”

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