Brothers Max and Ben Morrissey died after being injured in Tuesday’s fire. Their local union hopes to help their families with a fund in their memory.
TOLEDO, Ohio — Outside the United Steelworkers Local 1-346 building on Consaul Street in Toledo, a sign reads “It’s okay to disagree right now.”
Tuesday evening, a fire at the BP-Husky oil refinery led to the death of two workers: brothers Max and Ben Morrissey.
“Members know we’re all brothers and sisters and we’re here for each other,” said Steelworkers Local 1-346 President Jim Witt. “To lose two colleagues, union brothers, real brothers, is a devastating loss.”
So the members of Steelworkers Local 1-346 decided to start a fund and raise money for the Morrisseys.
Donations for the fund are accepted at two locations:
- Croghan National Bank at 4157 Navarre Ave., Oregon, OH 43616
- USW Local 1-346 at 2910 Consaul St., Toledo, OH 43605
You can also donate through Venmo (@USW1-346) or PayPal ([email protected]).
“Not only have they lost loved ones, but they have lost income and they have responsibilities to their families. And that’s our most important focus right now is to take care of our brothers’ families,” said Bryan Sidel, USW financial secretary-treasurer. Local 1-346, said.
As the Morrissey brothers’ loved ones mourn, there remain unanswered questions about how the refinery fire started. Steelworkers Local 1-346 is conducting its own investigation into the incident.
“When incidents happen, we like to get to the root of what happened so we can share it and prevent it from happening elsewhere,” said Eric Sweeney, District 1 staff representative for USW. Room 1-346.
Although they have lost two people they considered friends, brothers and co-workers, members of Steelworkers Local 1-346 rely on each other for support.
“We stick together in good times and bad and we support each other, we support each other through it,” Sweeney said.
Friends of Max and Ben describe the brothers as important members of their community with a long list of accomplishments.
“They were brothers but opposites,” said Brian Conn, a longtime friend of Ben and Max. “Max was older, voted class clown in high school, the funniest, dumbest guy you’ve ever met.”
Conn described Ben as a gentle giant who was humble and had a smile on his face no matter where he was.
They both had a deep love for each other and for their family as well.
Conn said Max loves to ride a bike, has a motorcycle and does a charity run for multiple sclerosis every year. He said Max also served in the navy for four years.
Conn said Ben lives and breathes the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing.
Max had a wife and two young sons. Ben had a wife and a young son.
Conn said they were both high school athletes and always stayed active.
“These guys would do anything, they had a lot of accomplishments, a loving family and you couldn’t have asked for better people in the community,” Conn said.
RELATED: Ohio Politicians and Other Leaders Respond to Deadly BP Toledo Refinery Fire
RELATED: Here’s a look at the history of the BP-Husky refinery near Toledo