Donald Adair, lifelong resident of the community of West, Texas, and owner of Adair Grain Inc., who apparently also owned the West Fertilizer Company issued a statement through a public relations agency on Friday, April 19. His only reference to being the owner was at the end of the statement when he said all the fertilizer company employees are cooperating with investigators.

Appropriately, Adair began with references to the community’s suffering, loss of firefighters and grief counseling offered through the church to which he is associated. In part, he is quoted as saying:

“As a lifelong resident, my heart is broken with grief for the tragic losses to so many families in our community. I know that everyone has been deeply affected by this incident. Loved ones have been injured or killed. Homes have been damaged or destroyed. Our hearts go out to everyone who has suffered.”

Ownership and exactly what the West Fertilizer Co. did had been speculated on in the media. The latest reports were that this was not a manufacturing facility in the full sense but a retail outlet for fertilizer. Adair provided no comment about the company’s operations, but he made the assurance that he is cooperating with the investigation.

“Going forward, the owners and employees of Adair Grain and West Fertilizer Co. are working closely with investigating agencies. We are presenting all employees for interviews and will assist in the fact finding to whatever degree possible. We pledge to do everything we can to understand what happened to ensure nothing like this ever happens again in any community.

“While the investigation continues, and out of respect for the investigative process, we will limit our comments during the weeks and months ahead,” Adair ended.