Firefighter gives detailed account of massive explosion in Lamesa - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/15/09

Firefighter gives detailed account of massive explosion in Lamesa

Kendall Amos Kendall Amos

By Ann Wyatt Little  - bio | email

LAMESA, TX (KCBD) - The dramatic video of the fiery explosion in Lamesa is making national news around the country. The fire burned for more than nine hours after a bolt of lightning struck a disposal tank sending smoke in the air for miles. 

Fire Service Manager for the City of Lamesa Kendall Amos was there fighting the blaze. "It's just part of what we do. It's an accepted risk -- this one shook me. Mainly because I was worried about my men," said Amos.

After two hours of fighting the blaze firefighters heard a hissing sound. "I was probably 20 yards from the front of the fire. I saw a couple of guys fall and I was running to try to help get them up," said Amos about the seconds following the explosion. 

Amos says the chain fence around the salt water disposal site shielded his men from flying debris. "Our people didn't get hit. Our trucks didn't get his. I can't believe it. It was like a grenade going off," said Amos.

Viewing a scene he describes as a war zone, Amos says it wasn't death that scared him. "Really what was going through my mind was not that I'm going to die, but that I'm going to get burned and have to live," he said.

Crews from Andrews were called in to help fight the blaze. Firefighters say the plume of smoke was a quarter mile wide and covered the city of Lamesa.

Severe weather put NewsChannel 11's Storm Chaser David Drummond just 200 yards from the explosion allowing him to capture the dramatic video. "You've heard my voice next to tornadoes, this time you can hear in my voice I was scared to death," says Drummond.

Drummond agrees with Amos that it was a miracle no one was hurt. "I honestly can't believe we don't have 20 or 30 dead or in hospital. All I can say is the hand of God was on us," says Amos.

One firefighter did suffer minor injuries but is said to be doing just fine. The tank station is a total lost. Estimated damage is around $725,000 not including clean up costs.

Making a Kit for an Emergency Situation
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • War of words spreads to soldier's widow, Trump

    War of words spreads to soldier's widow, Trump

    Tuesday, October 24 2017 4:24 AM EDT2017-10-24 08:24:45 GMT
    Tuesday, October 24 2017 5:15 AM EDT2017-10-24 09:15:28 GMT

    "Yes, the president said that 'he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway.' And it made me cry 'cause I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said he couldn't remember my husband's name," Sgt. La David Johnson's widow said in an interview.

    "Yes, the president said that 'he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway.' And it made me cry 'cause I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said he couldn't remember my husband's name," Sgt. La David Johnson's widow said in an interview.

  • Trump shoots down retirement limit to pay for GOP tax cuts

    Trump shoots down retirement limit to pay for GOP tax cuts

    Monday, October 23 2017 3:44 AM EDT2017-10-23 07:44:06 GMT
    Tuesday, October 24 2017 4:34 AM EDT2017-10-24 08:34:41 GMT

    Trump on Sunday personally implored House GOP members on a conference call to swiftly adopt the budget that was passed last week by the Senate, with the hope of clearing the way for what he described as historic tax cuts.

    Trump on Sunday personally implored House GOP members on a conference call to swiftly adopt the budget that was passed last week by the Senate, with the hope of clearing the way for what he described as historic tax cuts.

  • Angry soldier's widow says Trump didn't know husband's name

    Angry soldier's widow says Trump didn't know husband's name

    Monday, October 23 2017 9:04 AM EDT2017-10-23 13:04:12 GMT
    Tuesday, October 24 2017 4:26 AM EDT2017-10-24 08:26:35 GMT
    President Donald Trump is defending his call to a fallen soldier's widow, saying he was "respectful" and used his name "without hesitation." Trump addressed the call on Twitter Monday after Myeshia Johnson appeared...
    President Donald Trump is defending his call to a fallen soldier's widow, saying he was "respectful" and used his name "without hesitation." Trump addressed the call on Twitter Monday after Myeshia Johnson appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America.
Powered by Frankly