In a week filled with horrific events, West, a small Texas town 19 miles north of Waco, experienced a fiery explosion at the Texas fertilizer plant located there. Fourteen people, mostly volunteer firefighters who rushed to the fire at the plant, died. Two hundred people were injured, and dozens of homes and businesses were destroyed.
Click these links to see the details, if you missed the news reports.
Rachel Firasek, an author who is a member of the West Community, shared the following first-hand account:
“I wanted to give everyone an update. I actually live about 10 miles away, but my children go to school in West and my husband grew up there. We felt the blast all the way at our house. The noise was deafening, even that far away. We’re still desperately waiting for word on names of the fallen. I know that my hubby has already lost one cousin and a very good friend is in critical condition.
We lost three of the four schools. The only thing left is the elementary school. My kids will finish the school year at schools 30 miles away. It’s going to be a hectic next few weeks for all of our family and friends, but this is a tight community and they are already rallying.
Please don’t feel obligated, but thanks for anything you can do for these families.”
So how can we help West, Texas?
Authorities said Friday that charitable organizations have received more donations of food, clothing and other items than are needed in West. Excess donations will be distributed to surrounding areas.
With schools destroyed, donations to the education program are desperately needed. Rachel provided this link with for details.
Other places to donate and help:
- Donate to West Fire Department – mail donations to:
West Fire Department, PO Box 97, West, TX 76691
- Donate to the victims – PointWest Bank: POINTWEST Bank – Home Page
- Donate Blood – during the next few months schedule appointment to donate blood. Blood will be needed and it has a limited shelf life. Go to Donating Blood | American Red Cross for additional information and to find a location near you.
- Contact donation facilities for specific items still needed at this time:
Extraco Events Center (254) 776-1660
First Baptist Church of Lott (254) 829-2321
**packing materials are going to be needed when the families can enter their homes again
Medical help for animals is also needed. Contact these area animal clinics for specifics:
- Happy Endings Animal Clinic 254-666-8240
- Brazos Valley Boarding Kennels 254-854-4104
- La Vega Vet Clinic 254-744-1948
And for those who want to share a word on social media sites:
Anything you can do, especially prayers, in this devastating time will be welcomed.