Independence fire crews honor firefighters killed in Texas explosion

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A special group of Independence, Mo., firefighters were in Texas to honor fellow firefighters killed in an explosion earlier this month.

The 14 firefighters, part of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 781, went down to West, Texas, this week. They worked alongside Secret Service agents to stand guard outside a Dallas Medical Examiner's Office and provide usher and funeral detail for two of the 12 firefighters killed in a fertilizer plant explosion.

"It's very moving," said Chad Sappenfield of the Independence Fire Department. "I can't imagine a department as small as West losing 12 guys. This is a fairly big department, and if we lost one guy we would be impacted. I can't imagine how it would feel to lose 12."

After serving three days in Texas, the crew arrived back in Independence on Friday night.

The local firefighters are required to put in additional hours each month to attend training, scheduled events and guard details in order to help honor fellow firefighters.

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