Nineteen firefighters remembered

On July 25th, 2013 folks gathered at the Valero McKee Refinery Station 19 to honor the 19 men who were killed 57 years ago in an explosion at the plant that rocked the area.

Jo Wynn Harp was ten

in 1956

when she heard her father, Virgil Wayne Thomas had been killed. "I just remember it was a Sunday morning and the sky was full of black smoke and the sirens were going off and a lot of chaos."

This is the first year the memorial has been held on Valero property, which was once the Shamrock Oil and Gas Tank Farm where the explosion took place, between Dumas and Sunray.

Larry Copelin, Valero Fire Chief says, "The thing weâ??ve taken from it is the fact weâ??ve grown from that. We learn from the people before."

Harp says, "itâ??s something you donâ??t ever forget.ã?? No matter how much time has gone by, itâ??s still very disturbing."