After the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. in West, Texas that killed as many as 15 and left 160 people injured on Wednesday night, Lola Millhollin, a worker at the nearby West Rest Haven Nursing Home, helped residents escape from the danger.
Millhollin spoke with the Associated Press about her experience with the fire and its aftermath. "I told them, 'We need to get out now.' I didn't tell them it was a fire or anything, I just told them we needed to get out, it was an emergency."
Millholin said she got one resident into a wheelchair while her co-worker Anna did the same thing with another resident. "We got those two residents out, and we took them to the front of foyer of the rest home ... I was trying to figure out exactly where we were supposed to be. And I think she [Anna] had gone back in to get some more residents. And all of a sudden, it just blew. I mean, everything went flying everywhere."
A clearly emotional Millholin described the debris and chaos: "Everything fell down. The ceiling fell down. The windows blew out. And I'm glad to know that God was there because He probably shielded us from the greatest calamity that could have happened."
After the explosion, Millholin said, she helped loosen the debris so she and other workers could wheel residents to safety. "We were trying to help some of the ones who couldn't get up and get them out," she said. "After we got them out, I went back in and we started going into rooms and yelling out for the residents."
Millholin added that a lot of the residents were panicked and in shock. "We did the best we could with what we had to get them out safely." All told, first-responders helped 133 patients escape the nursing home.
- Society & Culture
- Disasters & Accidents