First of 12 West first responders killed laid to rest


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist J.P.

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 24 at 10:53 PM

WEST, Texas -- A procession through the streets of West honored the 12 first responders killed in Wednesday's fertilizer blast.

The procession followed the first funeral of one responder Dallas Fire-Rescue Captain Kenny Harris Jr. who called West home.

Some members of the Austin Fire Department staffed the Whitney Fire House so other colleagues could attend.

83-year-old West resident Jimmy Polansky spent the day trying to salvage what he could of his clothes and personal items. He showed KVUE the damage.

"One window out," he said. "Look at that wall."

Polansky believes his home of 52 years will be demolished. It's just off Spring, with a view of what used to be the fertilizer plant. Polansky lives just outside the still restricted area.

New video showed the crater the blast carved which was 93-feet wide and ten-feet deep.

One week after the blast, many families are still waiting to go inside their homes to see what they can salvage. With inspections continuing, they were told that will happen soon, but that a resource officer will escort them. Officers don't want anyone else injured.

A 15th death has been attributed to the blast. A nursing home resident rescued from the home died hours after the explosion.