One person is dead and six others are injured after a propane explosion at the Farmington, ME headquarters of LEAP Inc., a nonprofit organization for people with cognitive disabilities. The blast occurred around 8:30 this morning after firefighters arrived in response to a call about the smell of gas.
The newly constructed building had been evacuated after the gas odor was detected. The explosion killed one firefighter, Capt. Michael Bell, 68. Other firefighters were injured including Fire Chief Terry Bell, Michael Bell’s brother; Deputy Chief Clyde Ross, father and son Theodore and Scott Baxter; Timothy Hardy and Joseph Hastings. Larry Lord, a maintenance worker at LEAP was also injured.
The explosion has left residents of Farmington, a small community about 70 miles north of Portland, grief-stricken and in shock. Some of them told local media that the blast, which completely leveled the building, could be heard for miles around. The two-story building that served as LEAP’s headquarters was constructed about two months ago.
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