Shortly after arriving home this evening I learned of the explosion in the small town of West, which is about 15 minutes north of Waco on interstate 35.
As the news reports came in, it quickly became clear that it was a very serious situation. As I write this well past midnight, there are over a hundred hurting and at least three dead.
I have many friends in this community, and although I don't know how they have been affected, I'm sure that some of them have been injured or worse.
One of my closest friends also happens to be the mayor there. He is also a volunteer fireman, so when I learned that there were firefighters on ther scene when the explosion occured, I was scared that he might be one of the casualties. All I could think about was his wife Lisa. She and Tommy lost their son in a car accident 9 years ago, and now it looked like she may have lost her husband also.
You can imagine how relieved I was to see Tommy holding a press conference that was televised on CNN.
As it turned out, he was on his way to the fire, about two blocks away when the explosion occured... two blocks away from almost certain death.
If you can picture Andy Griffith's Mayberry, you have a good idea of what West is like. It's a very tight knit Czech community that has been knocked to its knees. They are a hardy people, and I know they will recover from this tragedy, but it will take a long time.
I'm grateful Tommy is there to lead them through what will be a very difficult time.
Please take a moment to say a prayer for this community.