KMCO worker already a burn victim before Crosby blast

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As the investigation and clean-up continue at the KMCO plant in Crosby, two employees are fighting for their lives after being injured in Tuesday's explosion.

The family of one of those men, Joe Peralez, says he was badly burned and underwent surgery at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

"I felt it in my heart that it was my grandson. I did. I really did," said Joseph Peralez Sr., the victim's grandfather.

He tells ABC13 Eyewitness News his grandson is being treated in the burn unit. He described his grandson as a fighter.

"He had an accident back when he was young. He had 80 percent of his body burned. He made it through that, he can make it through this."

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And to the family of the man who lost his life in the same fire, James Mangum, he also has words of comfort.

"The pain will always be there. It will never go away, but you can live and there's a way of living with the pain."

This grandfather lost his own son, Joe's father, just weeks before Joe was born.

"I'm proof that you can live," said Joseph Sr.

Now, he says they will lean on that strength again as they pray for a full recovery for their grandson and his co-worker.

Eyewitness News reached out to the family of the second employee who was injured.

Family members are not ready to speak with us and asked the media to withhold his name.

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