HOUSTON In the light of day you can see the destruction of the fertilizer plant explosion in the small town of West, Texas.
The plant explosion killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others. The blast left the factory a smoldering ruin and leveled homes and businesses for blocks in every direction.
Just across the cornfield from what s left of the fertilizer plant you could find contractors boarding up blown out windows.
Others, like Les Whicker from Waco, were bringing in sheets of plywood to cover up doors.
Whicker was on the phone with one of the homeowners
The woman next door just came over and told me that they had confirmation that one of the first responders out here in the cornfield, they found him this morning, he said.
Billy and Dorris Pavelkas said the man was a volunteer firefighter that loved helping people.
The Pavelkas said they had to keep busy just to deal with the overwhelming sorrow.
And there was plenty for them to do. Every room in the house lost a window and in one room the ceiling collapsed.
Billy Pavelkas said he never expected the destruction driving home Wednesday night.
I ve seen a little smoke didn t think much of it. A little tanker and stuff (was) giving off a little vapor. Then I came home, he said. It wasn t but twenty minutes later that thing blew up.
The destruction left in the wake of the explosion is incomprehensible. Glass shards were embedded in walls and some exterior walls had been stripped off apartment buildings.