Morris Wayne Bridges, Jr.

At 1932hrs, firefighters responded to a report of a structure fire in a fertilizer and seed occupancy.

Firefighters arriving on-scene found a well-developed fire in the structure. An EMS and mutual aid response was requested and other emergency personnel responded to the scene for firefighting operations and evacuation.

A massive explosion occurred at 1950hrs. The explosion killed nine firefighters and an EMS responder, as well as five civilians. The blast destroyed most of the fire occupancy and damaged or destroyed 500 structures.

The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office has prepared a comprehensive report on this incident. The report is available at

Incident Location: West Fertilizer CO, 1471 Jerry Mashek DR, West, TX 76691 (U.S. National Grid: 14R PA 8100 2175)

Department Information

Abbot Volunteer Fire Department
Abbott, Texas

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Morris Wayne Bridges, Jr. was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.
Age: 41 
Rank: Firefighter 
Classification: Volunteer 
Incident date: Apr 17, 2013 19:30
Date of death: Apr 17, 2013 
Cause of death: Struck By 
Nature of death: Trauma 
Activity type: Unknown 
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire 
Fixed property use: Manufacturing