Update: 14 bodies have now been found in the wake of the explosion in West, Texas
Below you will find the names and photos of the reported dead or missing fire & EMS responders in West, Texas. The sources for the information are marked if you would like more information. Some have been confirmed as dead, others are reported as missing after responding to the explosion.
I will update as more information is available. Some of this information is not “official”, but pulled from local reports and online postings from friends and family. It should also be noted that the members may have been members of a certain department but actually responding with a different department or organization. Not all of this information has been verified fully, we have simply shared information from multiple sources.
Scroll Down for information on those missing or deceased
West, Texas Stats: 12 confirmed deaths, 200 injuries reported, 150 buildings destroyed, 50 buildings cleared by search and rescue teams, 25 buildings yet to be cleared, 3 fire trucks destroyed, 1 EMS vehicle destroyed.
The members below who are reported missing and or dead include:
West Volunteer Firefighters: Morris Bridges, Robert Snokhous, Doug Snokhous, Joey Pustejovsky, Cyrus A. Reed, and Buck Uptmor. (This info is from the reports below. According to other reports, only 5 current West VFD members died in the explosion).
Kevin Sanders and Jim Matus (unknown agency)
West Ambulance Service Member: Perry Calvin, Jerry Chapman (also Abbot VFD Firefighter)
Dallas FD (off-duty): Captain Kenny Harris
In addition to these Fire & EMS Personnel, 11 West, Texas Firefighters remain in the hospital.
UPDATE: The bodies have been moved back to Dallas. The bodies were transferred under Law Enforcement and Fire Department escorts. The bodies are being guarded as we speak. We are more than thankful for the overwhelming support. Please be patient as we are trying to respond to all of the emails, text, and phone calls. We are recieving over a 100 email/text/ and phone calls a day. We are working very hard to contact everyone! Thank you for the Continued support and feel free to keep contacting us just leave us a message.
Guard schedule is being produced as we speak, please know this will require help from across the state. We will be doing a 24 hour guard till further notice. If you have not submitted your information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 940.368.8311 with your availability. We could be standing guard for a few weeks and we will make it happen. If you are not from the area and would like to help just send the email. We have numerous Fire Departments in the metroplex who have offered to house Firefighters that would like to come in town and help. Thank You all for the continued support!
WEST (April 19, 2013)–A spokesman for the Department of Public Safety at a Friday morning news conference in West confirmed 12 bodies have been recovered from the area around the West Fertilizer plant that exploded Wednesday night in West. DPS Sgt. Jason Reyes said all of the remains have been taken to the Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences, in Dallas, for positive identification. Reyes said he could not confirm how many of the dead are first responders. He also said three fire trucks and one ambulance were destroyed in the blast. … Muska told CNN that seven West firefighters died in the blast Wednesday night along with two others, but provided no further details.
Dallas FD Captain Kenny Harris
Age: 52; Married father of two. Off-duty Dallas FD Captain Kenny Harris was killed in the explosion. Captain Harris, who is a resident of West, went to help the volunteers of West with the fire according to reports.
Harris, a 52-year-old father of three, was among the multiple fatalities. Reportedly off-duty when the tragedy struck, Harris did what he was trained to do — help. The Dallas Fire-Rescue captain lived in the community, but has worked for the city of Dallas for nearly 31 years.
Calvin, 37; married with two children and one due on Thanksgiving. Calvin responded to the scene with West Ambulance Service and responded to the initial call.
Calvin was a firefighter with the Navarro Mills Volunteer Fire Department since 1996 and Mertens Volunteer Fire Department since 2012.
Calvin worked as a rancher, carpenter, welder and mechanic, but was in training to become an Emergency Medical Technician, which is why he was training with the West Ambulance service. It was also why he and his partner were called upon when the fire began. “He was at EMT class at West last night,” explained Perry’s father, Phil Calvin. “He and another boy responded to the fire alarm for West fire department and they got at the fire scene before the explosion. They were both right there at the explosion site.”
Phil Calvin said the family couldn’t get “definite confirmation” of his son’s death but admitted the possibility of his survival was bleak. “It’s been over 24 hours. He would have gotten hold of somebody,” he said late Thursday. “They do know that the guy he was with — they found his body (Wednesday) night. I was told they found (Perry Calvin’s) body this afternoon, but the ATF won’t confirm that.”
Chapman, 26; Student Firefighter with Abbot Volunteer Fire Department (Abbott, Texas)
A 26 year old volunteer firefighter is among those killed in the fertilizer explosion in West Texas, according to friends. Jerry Chapman was in class at the time the call went out for the initial fire at West Fertilizer Company. His friends and co-workers say he would not have missed a chance to go help people. “He worked for the Abbot Volunteer Department. He was happy. He loved working for them,” said Sharon Matthews, who worked with Chapman for 8 years.
Co-workers told NBC 5 that Jerry Chapman, 20, a volunteer EMS, was also killed in the blast. Chapman worked at the Black Eyed Pea in Hillsboro, and the restaurant is holding a fundraiser to help his family pay for funeral expenses. The rest will be donated to charity.
Firefighter for West, Texas; Three children ages 2, 17 and 18.
Brent Bridges, 18, told the Star-Telegram that his father, Morris Bridges, was told that he probably didn’t survive.
A Facebook page dedicated to the memory of firefighters who lost their lives in the explosion included Morris Bridges and Buck Uptmor, both West Volunteer Fire Department firefighters. Brothers and West volunteer firefighters Robert and Doug Snokhous also were missing.
“He was the first respond for the West fire department, and we haven’t heard from him since, and everybody is gone from the fire station and his car is still sitting there. We went to all the hospitals; he’s not at any of the hospitals,” said Mills. “I’m thinking he’s died a hero; I really do.”
On Thursday afternoon Mills confirmed to NBC 5 that Bridges died in the explosion.
He had three children ages 2, 17 and 18.
Robert Snokhous & Doug Snokhous (Brothers)
Robert and Doug are brothers who are both firefighters in West, Texas.
Marqee Snokhous, who lives in Florida, told reporters she spent the early morning calling every hospital in hopes of finding that her father, Robert Snokhous, and uncle were among the injured. Her calls haven’t panned out, and as of 12:30 p.m. Thursday, she said the family still had not received confirmation about the fate of her father or uncle. “There’s not been anything official but the mayor did call my stepmom,” she said. “He told her that he’s pretty sure that they’re both inside the business in the plant, trapped in there. And that there’s a pretty high probability that there’s no survivors there.”
Married; Firefighter in West, Texas
Pustejovsky was the City of West, Texas City Secretary. The Facebook page “In Memory of West, TX Firefighters Last Alarm 4/17/2013” updated information that Pustejovsky reported among those missing.
Joey Pustejovsky, West’s city secretary, volunteers as a town firefighter and “was there doing his job and he put his life in harm’s way to protect the people that he needed to protect,” said his brother-in-law, David Sebesta. He said Pustejovsky, 63[?], and his sister were married on March 10, 2012 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of the Assumption in West.
Joey Pustejovsky, West’s city secretary, volunteers as a town firefighter and “was there doing his job and he put his life in harm’s way to protect the people that he needed to protect,” said his brother-in-law, David Sebesta.
He said his sister, Kelly, and Pustejovsky, 29, were married on March 10, 2012, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of the Assumption in West.
Pustejovsky brought a son into marriage and blended the family with his wife’s son and two daughters.
Kevin Sanders is listed by a friend as one of the firefighters missing on the Facebook page ”In Memory of West, TX Firefighters Last Alarm 4/17/2013”
Firefighter for West, Texas
A Facebook page dedicated to the memory of firefighters who lost their lives in the explosion included Morris Bridges and Buck Uptmor, both West Volunteer Fire Department firefighters. Brothers and West volunteer firefighters Robert and Doug Snokhous also were missing. Uptmor was confirmed deceased by his family, according to the page.
Firefighter Buck Uptmor’s brother, Brian, confirmed that he died in the explosion. Uptmor, 44, is survived by his wife and three children.
Cyrus A. Reed
Firefighter for West, Texas
Another West firefighter, Cyrus A. Reed, was also killed in the explosion, according to social media postings by friends and family.
According to family posting online, Jim perished in the explosion in West, Texas. He was a first responder to the explosion.