Reactions to the West tragedy

“It was like a war zone last night. It’s like a nightmare, something you would see in a movie.”

Jenene Picha, owner of the Czech-American Restaurant in West


“It is devastating. We don’t know how many people are going to be without homes altogether, and a lot of people are going to have homes that are needing to be fixed up. It is just all kind of surreal. I was driving around and it was like all the images of 9/11 . . . houses destroyed, debris in the street, it’s horrible.”

Walter M. “Skip” Reaves Jr., resident, Waco-area attorney


“Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of West. There are a lot of our friends and loved ones and neighbors down there. We talked to some of them and some of them made it out OK, and some of them didn’t. But they’re strong, and they’ll be back. It’s one of those things you don’t get over. But you will get through it.”

Willie Nelson, country music star, Central Texas native


“Our goal for the next 30 days is to make sure (students) have a great experience, that we could put back a little normalcy and consistency in the kids’ lives.”

Marty Crawford, West ISD Superintendent


“A fireball hit the house next door, and we don’t know if they were able to get out. The fire just went up so fast . . . one of the (firefighters) tried to save them, but it was too much.”

Diane Parma, resident


“The rebuilding of this community will be a long process, but I am confident in the spirit of this city, and I stand ready to help in any way possible.”

State Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-College Station


“Pray for us.”

Steve Vanek, West Mayor Pro-Tem

"West is a town that many Texans hold near and dear to their hearts, and as residents continue to respond to this tragedy, they will have the support of the American people.

President Barack Obama