Twitter Buttons

Friday, May 10, 2013

West Texas Fire & Explosion - First Responder Arrested For Possession Of Pipe Bomb #TxFire #WestFire

One of the First Responders to the West Fertilizer Blast Has Been Arrested

This photo provided by the McLennan County Sheriff's office shows Bryce Reed in a booking photo on Friday, May 10, 2013. Reed, a Texas paramedic who helped evacuate people on the night of the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, has been arrested and charged with possessing a destructive device. It's not clear whether the charge is related to the fire or the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. last month that killed 14 people. On Friday, May 10, 2013, Texas law enforcement officials launched a criminal investigation into last month's deadly fertilizer plant explosion, after weeks of treating it as an industrial accident. (AP Photo/McLennan County Sheriff's Office)
This photo provided by the McLennan County Sheriff's office shows Bryce Reed in a booking photo on Friday, May 10, 2013. Reed, a Texas paramedic who helped evacuate people on the night of the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, has been arrested and charged with possessing a destructive device. It's not clear whether the charge is related to the fire or the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. last month that killed 14 people. On Friday, May 10, 2013, Texas law enforcement officials launched a criminal investigation into last month's deadly fertilizer plant explosion, after weeks of treating it as an industrial accident. (AP Photo/McLennan County Sheriff's Office)


166943994
In this photo from April 18, smoke still rises from the rubble of a house that was next to the West, Texas, fertilizer plant that exploded the previous afternoon.

Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
Some confusing and perhaps troubling news is currently coming out of West, Texas, where police have arrested a 31-year-old paramedic said to have have been among the first to respond to last month's massive explosion at a fertilizer plant that killed 15, injured about 200 others and destroyed much of the town.

The Dallas Morning News reports that 31-year-old Bryce Reed was arrested at around 2 a.m. for "possessing a destructive device," later described as a pipe bomb by an unnamed police source who spoke with a Houston radio station. Reed was booked into the local county jail, but has since been taken into custody by U.S. Marshals.

Authorities aren't saying whether the arrest is connected to the explosion, but they're not saying that it's not, either, something that has everyone on edge, unfairly or not. Making things that much more troubling is the fact that the Texas Rangers and the local sheriff's office launched a criminal investigation into the plant explosion Friday morning, only hours after Reed was arrested. 


Here's the Morning News with more on the official silence on the arrest:
The State Fire Marshal’s office has not determined – or ruled out – whether the fire was a criminal act or accidental. The agency also has not determined the cause of the fire that preceded the deadly explosion, believed to be fueled largely by ammonium nitrate kept at the plant. Rachel Moreno, a spokeswoman for the fire agency, said Friday she could not comment on Reed’s arrest.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw and McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara released a joint statement Friday morning about their criminal investigation. Neither mentioned Reed’s arrest. "The citizens of McLennan County and Texas must have confidence that this incident has been looked at from every angle and professionally handled – they deserve nothing less," McNamara said.
In the days after the April blast, Reed spoke to a number of media outlets about the explosion and his role in the response. 

The day after the disaster, he was featured prominently in this Los Angeles Times story, in which he described his role as incident commander in the response effort. At last month's public memorial for a dozen of those killed by the blast, Reed "gave a heartfelt and often times humorous eulogy for his close friend," in the words of the Morning News.

According to News 92 FM in Houston, Reed is said to have asked an acquaintance to store a box for him sometime after the explosion. That person later found what appeared to be a pipe bomb in the container, and then contacted police.

While the state fire marshal hasn't determined the cause of the blaze that preceded the blast yet, earlier this week the department announced it had ruled out four potential causes: weather, natural causes, anhydrous ammonium, and ammonium nitrate in a rail car.


Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/05/10/bryce_reed_west_texas_paramedic_arrested_for_possessing_a_destructive_device.html
---------------------------------------------

Twitter links

-
****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
View blog top tags
---------------------
CLICK HERE TO GO BACK TO TOP OF CALIFORNIA FIRE NEWS HOME PAGE