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April 18, 2013

Volunteer firefighter from tiny town among those killed in plant explosion

NAVARRO MILLS, Tex. — A member of this small town's volunteer fire department is among those dead after an explosion at a  fertilizer plant in West, Texas, Wednesday night.

The family of Perry Calvin, 37, a member of the Navarro Mills Fire Department since 1996,  confirmed his death to the Corsicana Daily Sun late Thursday afternoon.

Phil Calvin, chief of the Navarro Mills Fire Department and Perry Calvin's father, said his son was attending an EMT training class in West when an alarm alerted him to a blaze at the fertilizer plant.

"He and another boy (classmate) responded to the fire alarm for the West Fire Department," said the father. "They got to the fire scene before the explosion. They were both right there at the explosion site."

The body of the classmate, a volunteer firefighter from another county, was found in the plant rubble Thursday morning, officials said.

Calvin was initially reported missing in the aftermath of the blast. His pickup truck had been found at the scene of the explosion, but there was no trace of him.

Officials initially reported up to 15 people killed - and more than 160 injured - in the explosion. They backed away from that estimate later Thursday, refusing to give an estimate of the casualties.

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Details for this story were provided by the Corsicana, Tex., Daily Sun.

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