People living closest to West blast site return home - Dallas News |

People living closest to West blast site return home

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WEST, Texas -

For the first time since the fertilizer plant blast in West last week, people living in the area closest to the explosion site surveyed what's left of their homes.

The area is called "Zone 3."

It is believed half of the homes in the area have been destroyed.

FOX4 is told of the 160 homes in that area, only three are safe enough to walk in. Seventy homes are beyond repair and will have to be torn down.

While residents in zones 1 and 2 were able to return to check on their property within days, residents of zone 3 have had to wait more than a week.

They had heard and seen enough to know it was bad. It didn't compare with seeing the destruction for themselves.

"There's literally no glass, no doors, sheet rock off the walls, insulation falling from the ceiling. It's bad," said Pat Fulbright who's brother lives in West. "He's one of the lucky ones. His house is probably going to be repairable but there's lots of others people whose houses aren't going to be repairable."

Pat Fulbright's brother used to be a school principal in town. He happened to be at the high school down the street from the plant. He saw the fire.

"Anyone from around here knows what a fire at this fertilizer plant means," said Fulbright. His brother knew seven of the first responders who died in the explosion.

Most people took what was left of their homes including furniture and appliances.

Given the amount of destruction, they were escorted into the secured area by authorities.

Water service has been restored in the first two zones, though it still needs to be boiled.

Authorities will soon attempt to restore service to residents of zone 3 - who also must comply with a 7a-7p curfew. Residents are advised to use masks so they don't breathe any dust from the plant site.

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