14 bodies recovered after Texas blast

Updated 12:00 AM EDT, Sat April 20, 2013
02:35 - Source: CNN
Several found dead, many still missing

Story highlights

Two more fatalities have been identified, bringing number of dead to 14

Firefighters and emergency responders are among those dead

Small town of West -- population 2,800 -- grapples with loss

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CNN —  

Days after a fertilizer plant explosion killed 14 people and leveled parts of a central Texas town, officials moved Saturday to help get residents back to their homes.

The fiery explosion ripped through the heart of West, a close-knit town about 75 miles south of Dallas and about 20 miles north of Waco. Before Wednesday, West was known as the home of Scott Podsednik of the Boston Red Sox and as the “Czech heritage capital of Texas,” boasting the best kolache in the state.

The explosion on Wednesday night tore through the roof of West Fertilizer Co., charring much of the structure and sending massive flames into the air.

The dead included the secretary, who was also a member of the volunteer fire department, said Mayor Tommy Muska.

In total, five West firefighters died battling the blaze, along with one Dallas firefighter and four emergency responders, the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas said Thursday.

“It’s devastating. I’ve been a member of the firefighters for 26 years,” Muska said. “These guys are my friends.”

The explosion tore through the roof of West Fertilizer Co., charring much of the structure and sending massive flames into the air.