Valley family connected to West survivors

Dan Martin

West, Texas may be miles away from the Valley, but the effects of the blast are hitting home for some people right here.

Action 4 News spoke to one Harlingen man whose parents live just four miles from the fertilizer plant. Dan Martin said his parents Len and Peggy are doing fine after the blast in West, Texas, but the blast sent them into a panic thinking lightning had struck their home.

According to Martin's parents, both in their 70's, the blast shook their entire home violently even though its four mile distance from the fertilizer plant.

The Martin's then ran outside their home and noticed the plume of smoke in the distance and then thought a tornado was headed their way.

When they finally found out about the plant explosion, the Martin's were on the move to try and help people that had been displaced from their homes. "That evening they went down to their church building which they opened up a shelter for the walking wounded to take care of people there till 2 or 3 in the morning, Martin said. They brought an elderly couple that their room had collapsed on them in bed."

Martin said his parents describe the scene as chaotic and shocking, but it's also brought the already tight-knit community closer and working to help each other out. Martin told Action 4 News that although his first instinct is to rush to his parents side, he said he'll stay in the Valley for now since his parents report there are so many first responders that it's even hard to get around some parts of town.