Thursday, April 18, 2013 While not official (we consider "official" based upon what is posted by USFA/NFFF) - the following are details from reliable and involved fire service leadership at the scene in West, Texas (20 miles north of Waco) are indicating that, at this time it appears that: 5 West Firefighters, 4 EMS Medics, 1 Off Duty Fire Captain from Dallas (who was in town at the time and was assisting) and 1 unconfirmed (unknown agency at this point) Firefighter have been killed in the Line of Duty. Active search and rescue operations are continuing.
The Mayor, Tommy Muska, who is also a Firefighter said the explosion occurred around 2000 hours and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, a town located 45 miles north. He stated that a four-block area around the explosion was "totally decimated" . One woman said that she noticed a lot of smoke in the area across town near the plant when she finished teaching her religion class Wednesday. She said she drove over to see what was happening, and that when she got there, two boys came running toward her screaming that the Firefighters had ordered everyone out because the plant was going to explode. She drove only about a block when it did.
Clearly, the West Firefighters, West EMS Medics, area Law Enforcement and other FF's who assisted saved many lives last night, while losing some of their own. RIP. We'll post as it becomes available.