What to Know
- A firefighter was killed and seven people hurt in a massive explosion in Farmington, Maine, that flattened a building.
- The building was the main administrative building of LEAP, an organization that helps disadvantaged and disabled adults.
- Gov. Janet Mills said she was monitoring the situation, adding, "Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this tragedy."
The powerful gas explosion that leveled a building in Farmington, Maine, Monday killed a fire captain and injured seven other people, including his brother, the town's fire chief, officials said.
The explosion happened Monday morning at a facility serving people with disabilities. Captain Michael Bell, 68, was identified by the Maine Fire Marshal's Office Monday afternoon as the man killed. He was a 30-year veteran of the department.
Six other firefighters from the department were injured in the blast, including Farmington Fire Chief Terry Bell, the brother of Michael Bell.
Captain Timothy Hardy; firefighter Joseph Hastings; Captain Scott Baxter and his father, firefighter Theodore Baxter, were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland with serious injuries, as was Terry Bell. Deputy Chief Clyde Ross was treated and released from Franklin Memorial Hospital.
Larry Lord, a maintenance worker at LEAP, was also injured in the explosion, according to the state fire marshal's office. He was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital.
"Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this tragedy," Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement earlier Monday.
Firefighters responded shortly after 8 a.m. when a smell of propane gas was reported at the recently-renovated Life Enrichment Advancing People building. Crews were arriving at the scene when the building exploded, rocking the area and sending dust high into the air.
I am closely monitoring the explosion in Farmington and have instructed the Department of Public Safety to keep me apprised of the situation. Per protocol, the State Fire Marshal’s Office will thoroughly investigate the cause and origin of this devastating explosion. (1/2)— Governor Janet Mills (@GovJanetMills) September 16, 2019
Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this tragedy, especially to the loved ones of the firefighter lost and others injured. I am grateful for the work of first responders who are at the scene and urge Maine people to avoid the area. (2/2)— Governor Janet Mills (@GovJanetMills) September 16, 2019
State and federal investigators will begin processing the site of the blast Tuesday to look for the cause of the explosion, state fire marshal officials said in a statement.
Absolutely terrifying images captured of debris from an explosion in Farmington. Right now there are reports of several injuries. The public is asked to avoid the area of Farmington Falls Rd. MORE: https://t.co/nJ2DNoOWKQ #NEWSCENTERmaine— Zach Blanchard (@ZachBlanchard) September 16, 2019
(��: Travis Greenman) pic.twitter.com/SkPM420f7e