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."
As the community of Farmington, Maine, remains in shock after a deadly explosion, donations are pouring in to help.
A powerful gas explosion leveled a facility for people with disabilities Monday morning, killing Farmington Fire Captain Michael Bell, a 30-year veteran of the department. His brother, the town's fire chief, was one of seven other people injured in the blast.
Firefighters responded after the smell of propane was reported at LEAP. The building exploded.
Michael Bell, 68, was killed. His brother, Farmington Fire Chief Terry Bell, was injured, remaining in critical condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland Tuesday night. Captain Scott Baxter and his father, firefighter Theodore Baxter, were also in critical condition. Captain Timothy Hardy and firefighter Joseph Hastings, also injured in the blast, were upgraded to satisfactory condition.
The explosion also injured Larry Lord, a maintenance worker at LEAP. He was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital.
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
A GoFundMe page was set up to help support Lord. As of Tuesday night, more than $52,000 had been raised toward a $75,000 goal.
"Larry suffered severe burns on over half of his body, multiple traumas, broken bones, and critical injuries," organizer Courtney Webster wrote, adding that Lord was expected to be hospitalized for four months.
United Way of the Tri-Valley Area set up the LEAP Explosion Fund "to help LEAP employees, firefighters, and others affected by this terrible event."
According to the Daily Bulldog, a news outlet in Franklin County, money can also be donated to the Farmington Firemen's Benevolent Association and the Farmington Disaster Relief Fund through Franklin Savings Bank.