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Volunteers Demolish Buildings Damaged In West Explosion

West Explosion

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WEST (CBSDFW.COM) – Nearly two months ago, the West Fertilizer Plant exploded. The blast leveled a large part of the city. Thursday, workers started tearing down one of the large buildings damaged in the disaster.

What a difference a day makes. Just one day ago there were remains of a large apartment complex near the fertilizer plant. Now the area only consists of big piles of wood and debris.

West Mayor Tommy Muska and the demolition organizer both called the clearing “progress.”

They prayed in front of what has become the icon of the West disaster. The owner of the apartment complex and her family came together to watch as volunteers began demolishing what remains of the property they owned. At times those watching became emotional.

The associate pastor at West First Baptist Church spoke for family and the community. To see this come down is a big deal. I’m tired of looking at it to be honest with you. Not the pile of rubble,” Associate Pastor Phil Immicke said frankly. “People’s lives were destroyed here and they don’t need this constant reminder of what happened.”

Immicke is organizing the demolition project in West and for 50 homes in the surrounding neighborhood. The church is paying for it with donations it received from across the country.

Little Elm EMT Sherri Curtis thought the undertaking was so important, she decided to come to West and volunteer. “My job is caring for people, and I take it very seriously,” she said.

Curtis is among the 400 people expected this Saturday for the weeklong volunteer event called Loving On West. She said the outpouring will help the recipients and the volunteers. “Just knowing that you’re doing God’s work. God wants us to get out and help one another, help our fellow man.”

Immicke said the demolitions that are taking place will leave behind fertile ground. “We want people to know this is not a deserted area.  This is our community,” he declared, adding, “We will rise up again. We will be stronger, we’ll be tighter, and will be the community we once were if not better.”

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