The Vandalia Leader
There were multiple explosions reported around 1 p.m. on March 12 by phone calls to The Vandalia Leader in regards to Fennewald Custom Welding, Inc.,
located at 105 W. Jefferson St. in Martinsburg.
Reportedly, the explosions came from acetylene and oxygen tanks; however, the exact cause of the explosions were not yet known at press time. The Audrain County Sheriff’s Office, the Wellsville Fire Department, Montgomery City Fire Department, and the Little Dixie Fire Protection District responded to the scene soon after it occurred.
Sheriff’s deputies were instructed to keep all personnel not involved in rendering emergency or other essential services away from the area.
Most employees escaped the building unharmed; however, business owner Craig Fennewald did not. Fennewald received serious burns and was rushed to the hospital.
Before going to press on Tuesday, March 19, Patty Fennewald reported information from Craig Fennewald’s wife that owner Craig Fennewald’s condition is much better, and he moved a step down out of ICU this week. He will be having skin graft surgery again on Thursday. reports Fennewald. She says, “Hopefully it will be the last. He started feeding himself too! Baby steps for sure, but God is by our side giving us strength.”
Elijah Jones, living in nearby apartments, overlooking the site of the explosions, reported that he, as well as many others, were instructed to vacate the immediate area.
Jones had taken a few images and video that he shared with The Vandalia Leader as the situation had began to get under control on scene.