Trucking community aids member who lost almost all in blast

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Updated Jan 3, 2021

Folks are rallying around a member of the Tennessee trucking community who lost all of his belongings in the Christmas Day bomb blast that damaged 41 buildings in downtown Nashville.

Patrick Mendenhall created a fundraising page for Joe Fischer, a representative for the Eaton Corporation for most of Tennessee. Mendenhall, who is director of fleet sales for the Summit Truck Group, wrote on the page:

Joe Fischer and Patrick MendenhallJoe Fischer and Patrick Mendenhall

“Our friend, Joe, was in his apartment with Kitty when the bomb went off. Joe escaped and thankfully later found Kitty more than 24 hours later. However, Joe’s belongings are destroyed and even if they were salvageable he is unable to get back into this apartment.

“Joe is a great friend and  would do whatever he possibly could to help us, let’s return the favor!”

As of noon Eastern time today, some $8,500 was raised to help Fischer. Mendenhall said numerous friends and colleagues suggested creating a way folks could help Fischer recover from the blast.

Mendenhall is the founder and chairman of the Tennessee Trucking Association’s Young Professional Council, of which Fischer is an active member.

KittyKitty

Mendenhall said Fischer was asleep in bed Christmas morning when the blast occurred. While he was able to escape unharmed, he was unable to find his cat, Kitty, to take her with him. Kitty was later found by police authorities and reunited with Fischer and was seen by a veterinarian as a precaution. Fischer is still not allowed back in his apartment as it is an active FBI crime scene.

At about 6:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 25, the explosion of an RV parked on Second Avenue in Nashville’s entertainment district caused damage to more than 40 structures, including the apartment Fischer called home. Only the suspected bomber, Anthony Quinn Warner, a retired 63-year-old self-employed computer consultant from Anticoch, Tennessee, died in the blast as Nashville police officers were able to warn residents to evacuate before the RV exploded.

Authorities have called Warner’s death in the explosion a suicide.

In related news, a box truck driver was arrested Sunday, Dec. 27  for parking his truck at a church and at a market and blaring audio similar to that which came from Warner’s RV before it exploded.

James Turgeon, 33, was arrested and charged with two felony counts of filing a false report and one count of tampering with evidence. The incidences occurred in Rutherford and Wilson counties southeast of Nashville.

No explosives were found in Turgeon’s truck.

Pilot and Flying J Travel Center locations

All Pilot and Flying J Travel Center locations in the Nashville region are open and operational at this time, according to a statement today from the company. From Dec. 26 to Dec. 27 there were four stores in the Nashville area that experienced network outages and were temporarily closed due to AT&T connectivity issues.