WEST (CBSDFW.COM) – Some people in West lost family members the night of April 17, 2013. Some lost their homes and there are others who lost both. One of those families spoke with CBS 11 News about the last year and how they’re rebuilding their lives.

Of all things, a park was one of the things that encouraged the Pustejovsky family not to give up. Their son was trying to repair it, before the blast and their grandson picked up where his dad left off.

Joey Pustejovsky looked like a firefighter and answered every call like a firefighter. He was just not one of those guys who had always wanted to be a firefighter.

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Joey’s mother, Carolyn Pustejovsky, recalled, “He was approached and asked, if he would be on the firefighter… he was right there.” Right there at city hall all day, where Joey Pustejovsky was city secretary.

Joey said yes of course, because he was always the guy saying yes to help with everything… working at his church, or with the Knights of Columbus, or at the city park near his parents home. His parents said he was at that park, working whenever he could.

So when the fire burned last April, and then the explosion shook West, the Pustejovsky’s didn’t wonder where their son was.

Joey’s father, Joe Pustejovsky, said, “As soon as I heard that boom I knew where Joey was at. I knew where he was at.”

The couple lost their son and they lost their home. The house sat in Zone 3, the worst hit area. It was destroyed in an instant.

Carolyn Pustejovsky also lost her car. She was driving the vehicle at the time of the blast. The explosion blew it across the street, where it sat for days.

The Pustejovsky’s were interviewed at a friend’s house, the place where they have lived the last year. While the couple had every reason to be destroyed they weren’t. Carolyn explained, “To honor him [Joey], we have to pick ourselves up, and be strong and look forward and cherish the memories we have.”

Joey’s son, Parker, now has his grandparents at his beck and call. They have turned their son’s dreams for the area woodlands into the Parker’s Park Project and are raising money to rebuild it.

Meantime, the Pustejovsky’s go to work and school, stay busy, and any day now will move into their new home. It sits right where the old one was.
They say they do it for the son they lost in a moment, and the grandson they never want to miss a moment with.

“He did what he was supposed to do and he did it to the best of his ability,” Joe Pustejovsky said with satisfaction. “I think that the most important thing about anybody’s character is the way they react in their job and the community. And I’d say, ‘son, well done.’”

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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