Two dead in Adams County explosion

Lee Morgan holds up a photo of his father and brother
Lee Morgan holds up a photo of his father and brother

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

MANCHESTER, OH (FOX19) - Two men are dead after a fiery explosion rocked a Southeastern Ohio town. It happened Wednesday early evening in Adams County.

Lee Morgan lost his father, Ronnie, and his brother, Tony, in almost an instant.

"My little brother was putting on a fuel pump and he pulled the lines off and got gas in his eyes," Morgan said. "He went back in to get my dad to help him wash the gas out of his eyes and I guess the whole time the fuel pump had still been leaking."

Leaking fuel and fumes accumulated inside the Morgan's two-bay garage. There was also a wood stove burning inside.

"Well, gas fumes get to an open flame and they're gonna flash," said Manchester Fire Chief Rick Bowman.

"The fumes rose up to the level of the stove that's when it exploded," Morgan said. "They never seen it coming."

This was a family business, a mechanic shop and towing service. Manchester Fire Chief Rick Bowman said the family is well known around the small town for lending folks a hand.

"Tony (Morgan) pretty much owned the place and did most of the work and he also ran a wrecker service, so he's helped a lot of people out around town," said Bowman.

Lee Morgan walked around the scene, carrying around a picture of his father, 58-year-old Ronnie Morgan and his baby brother, 37-year-old Tony Morgan.

"I'm just numb right now," Morgan said. "It hasn't even really hit me, I'm sure it will tomorrow when I'm sitting at home by myself."

The two men were working on a car, which was still up on it's jacks. The force of the explosion did not knock it down. Firefighters used a cable to pull it down and then secured the area so no one else could get hurt by any more falling debris.

"We're all pretty tore up," said Morgan.

Fire Chief Bowman said the State Fire Marshal will be doing an investigation. He says both Ronnie and Tony Morgan leave behind wives.

Manchester is a close-knit town, and friends and family are comforting Lee Morgan.

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