Fire marshal preaches safety, training after West - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Fire marshal preaches safety, training after West

Posted: Updated:
By NOMAAN MERCHANT
Associated Press

CLIFTON, Texas (AP) - When a fertilizer plant exploded in a small Texas town, killing 15 people and decimating homes and schools, it became Chris Connealy's responsibility to stop anything like it from happening again.

After months of study, the Texas state fire marshal and his team have embarked on a 68-stop tour to meet with first responders and businesses about how best to store ammonium nitrate, the chemical that detonated in the blast.

Distrust of government runs deep in Texas, and any change to how hazardous chemicals are stored in the state will likely have to come voluntarily, through an attempt at persuasion like Connealy's road trip.

Connealy says he's trying to emphasize best practices and work with local volunteer firefighters to improve safety.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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