Family, friends prepare to say goodbye to explosion victim


Family and friends of Martin Blossom are having a tough time dealing with their loss.

"I got scrap metal all the way in this leg," said Terry Casteel. "They took a big chunk out of my stomach."

Casteel says he is a blessed man, cut and scarred by shrapnel from an exploding chimenia.

It just blew up. It was like lit for 30 seconds and like lightning, and it went boom," said Casteel.

It happened last Saturday night as dozens of relatives and neighbors gathered in Casteel's front yard in the 6500 block of St. Louis Street. Five people were hurt when the cast iron fire pot exploded.

Firefighters believe some type of accelerant was used and the fumes exploded. The blast killed 28-year-old Blossom.

"We were high school sweethearts," said Keyana Faison, Blossom's fiancée.

Faison lost her best friend, and the father of her unborn son.

"He was very loving. He was funny, and very excited to have him," said Faison.

Friday evening, friends and relatives gathered at a local funeral home to share their grief and memories.

Instead of getting married soon Faison will now struggle as a single parent.

"For the next couple of months, it is definitely going to be hard," said Faison. "I have to be out of work. There is no funds coming in"

A small memorial marks the spot of the explosion. It's a terrible lesson in fire safety, and lives forever changed.

"He was a terrific guy," said Casteel. "He would do anything for you if he could."

Blossom's funeral is Saturday at 1 p.m.

The family has set up a memorial account for his unborn son and wife. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank by asking for the "Martin Antoine Blossom Memorial Fund."

The explosion was ruled accidental by investigators.

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