Final phase of home demolitions underway in West - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Final phase of home demolitions underway in West

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WEST -

More than two months after the deadly explosion the city of West is moving on in its recovery and entering the final phase of demolition for the many ravaged homes.

It took hundreds of volunteers nearly a month to tear down more than 60 homes in the first demolition phase and they still have many more to go.

West Mayor Tommy Muska says he's pleased with the progress so far.

"It just took a few seconds for this to be destroyed and it's going to take a while to get it rebuilt." 

Texas Baptist Men demolition crews have been working daily since the demolition started almost a month after the blast.

Entire neighborhoods are now unrecognizable. Just weeks ago the damaged homes were still left standing but now they're mounds of rubble.

"You see your house that you've lived in your whole life that you grew up in raised your family for 40 or 50 years and it goes away in minutes. The whole face of the north side of town that I knew is changing," says Muska. 

One woman stood with friends and watched as the house she lived in for almost 30 years was torn down in just 20 minutes.

"There is sadness there is a lot of emotion when you see your house like that get destroyed but it'll be better. And these people are very resilient," says Muska. 

For homeowners and the city this is their first step.

Interim director of west long-tern recovery, Karen Bernsen says, "One of the first things that kind of get people going is cleanup and demolition because you need to clear the slate to be able to see you what you're going to be building. And so it's very exciting."    

More than 60 homes still need to be torn down before those residents can start to rebuild.

Mayor Muska says the town and the people are resilient and trying to stay positive."You can't look behind you just have to look forward."

Muska says he hopes all the homes that need to be demolished will be done by mid July.  

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