Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling the 12 men honored at a memorial service for West fertilizer plant first responders "ordinary individuals blessed with extraordinary courage."
Perry spoke Thursday at the service in Waco, eight days after an explosion that killed 14 people, including 10 first responders and two people considered honorary first responders.
Perry said a shared love of their community bound each of the men who died.
Perry mentioned Dallas Fire-Rescue Capt. Kenny Harris, who was off duty when a fire broke out but rushed to the scene to help.
Several volunteers were fighting the blaze when the plant exploded.
Thousands of people and firefighters from all over Texas filled Baylor University's basketball arena for the service.
President Barack Obama was also scheduled to speak.