Fire in West (TX) Fertilizer Plant Explosion Started in Storehouse

The devastating West (TX) fertilizer explosion last month was caused by a fire that began in a building that held the company’s seed and fertilizer.

A lead investigator probing the deadly blast said building contained the company’s store of ammonium nitrate, the volatile compound used in fertilizer and explosives, according to a USA Today report ( The structure was obliterated in the explosion, Brian Hoback, national response team supervisor for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives told the paper.

The fire that led to the explosion started inside the storage building but not exactly at the spot where the ammonium nitrate was stored. It ultimately reached the location of the ammonium nitrate, triggering the explosion.

The blast killed 10 firefighters and 14 people in all. More than 200 people were injured and dozens of homes were destroyed.

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For more on the West blast, see West Texas Firefighters Honored at Memorial, Officials Say West Texas Firefighters Were Trained and Prepared, West (TX ) Firefighter and EMS Fallen Hero Fund Established, and TX Fallen Firefighters Monument Runs Out of Room for More Names.


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