Interim West Chief Holding Company Together

George Nors Jr. says the department will survive the horrific loss because they're family.


Editor's Note: Firehouse Associate Editor Susan Nicol was sent to Texas following the tragic blast on Wednesday night. Stay with Firehouse.com for exclusive stories and more. Find full coverage of the West, Texas, Tragedy here.

WEST, TEXAS – If you’re looking for the interim fire chief in this rural town, he’s probably on the phone.

George Nors Jr. admits he’s been pretty overwhelmed the past few days after taking over for his father, West Fire Chief George Nors Sr.

“I’ve had tons and tons of calls from literally all over the world. It’s been pretty amazing.”

Seated behind his father’s desk in an office off the meeting room, Nors said he was trying to keep things going.

“Right now we’re in a wait and see mode. We’re waiting to see what the new day brings.

The department that answers about 110 calls annually lost five firefighters Wednesday evening when the local fertilizer plant exploded.

Nors said he appreciated the firefighters from neighboring companies bringing equipment and stepping up to the plate to run calls.

“I’m really glad they’re here. Everyone is doing an awesome job. It’s letting me deal with what I have to deal with. And, that’s my people.

This is the first time the department has suffered a loss. And, those five were among the most active in the 25 member company.

In the middle of the afternoon, Nors left to check on his father who was at home recuperating from the injuries he suffered in the blast.

While the West Volunteer Fire Company will never be the same again, Nors said they have each other to lean on because they’re family.