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The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatalities: WEST TEXAS

It is in great sadness that we as a Brotherhood post the 20th thru 24th Line Of Duty Deaths for 2013 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighters Morris Bridges, Cody Dragoo, Joseph Pustejousky, Douglas and Robert Snokhous have made the ultimate sacrifice in love for his fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to their family, friends and members of the West TexasVolunteer Fire Department.

Morris Bridges

Rank: Firefighter
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer

Cody Dragoo

Rank: Firefighter
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer

Joseph Pustejousky

Rank: Firefighter
Age: Pending
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer

Douglas Snokhous

Rank: Firefighter
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer

Robert Snokhous

Rank: Firefighter
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer

Date of Incident: 04/17/2013
Time of Incident: 1930hrs
Date of Death: 04/17/2013

Fire Department: West Volunteer Fire Department
Address: PO Box 97, 111 S. Reagan ST, West, TX 76691-0097
Fire Department Chief: Gorge Nors Sr.

Incident Description: Firefighters and other responders were operating at the scene of a fire at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas. Initial reports indicate that as the situation on the fire ground worsened, the fire chief ordered all personnel to evacuate the property. Shortly thereafter, a massive explosion occurred damaging or destroying a portion of the City of West. Many people were injured or killed as a result of the explosion, including five firefighters from the West Volunteer Fire Department. Due to the timely efforts of first responders and other volunteers working in the face of pending catastrophe to evacuate occupancies nearby the fertilizer plant, many other lives were saved.

Several other emergency responders were also killed in the incident. Their names and additional information about their deaths will be forwarded, as appropriate, as additional information becomes available.

Investigation into the cause of the fire, explosion, and resulting fatalities continues by local, state and federal authorities.

Incident Location: West Fertilizer CO, 1471 Jerry Mashek DR, West, TX 76691

Memorial Fund: In light of the tragic event in West, Texas on Wednesday and in cooperation with local support efforts, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has established a national fund to accept monetary donations to assist the survivors and coworkers of the fire and EMS personnel who died in the line of duty.

Checks can be mailed to:
NFFF c/o West, Texas Fire and EMS Fallen Hero Fund
P.O. Drawer 498
Emmitsburg, MD 21727.

Donations also can be made by credit card at www.regonline.com/westtx. All donated funds will be used to assist the survivors and coworkers to rebuild their lives and support the programs and services they will need.
As a result of the blast, the station along with the apparatus, equipment and turn-out gear were destroyed or badly damaged. If you would like to donate these items, please send a message with your contact information to www.firehero.org/contact and the Foundation will share this with the West, Texas department.

Tribute is being paid to Firefighters Morris Bridges, Cody Dragoo, Joseph Pustejousky, Douglas Snokhous, and Robert Snokhous at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/fatalities/

To date, 24 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2013. Year-to-date monthly and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online @ http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/fatalities/statistics/ff_stats...

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