“The smoke was so dense, so black, you couldn’t see anything at all, and the fumes were just horrible. They burned your eyes and your throat,” Kolar said.
The Kolars returned to their business, Bold Springs Tire and Lube Center on Interstate 35W “on the opposite side of town” from the site of the blast and opened their doors to those seeking shelter.
“We are open for the people who need somewhere to go,” Kolar said. “We’ve got a TV here. We’ve got showers and a bathroom. And we have some barbecue response teams from all over coming in to help feed people. We’re just here to help people however we can. I have sure seen better days.
“I am 51 years old. I have lived here in West all my life, and I have never seen anything like this. It’s just total disaster. But we will get through it somehow. We will get through it and we will be back.”