Firefighter dies in Farmington Maine explosion

According to Bangor Daily News:

A Farmington official said one firefighter is dead and six other people were injured in a massive building explosion Monday morning on Route 2 that happened after a propane leak and has the area looking like “a war zone.”

The explosion happened at 313 Farmington Falls Road — also known as Route 2 — on Monday morning. Photographs from the scene showed the blast leveled the building housing a nonprofit, LEAP, that serves adults with developmental disabilities.

Scott Landry, who serves as a Farmington selectman, state representative and on the organization’s board, said he had been told one firefighter died in the explosion after responding to a propane leak. Five other firefighters and the building’s maintenance manager were transported to a hospital, he said.

Landry said insulation fell in downtown Farmington, which is roughly 1.5 miles from the building.

“It’s a war zone here,” he said from the scene.

He said the LEAP office was rebuilt in a $450,000 project that opened this spring and the propane system serving the building was replaced at that time. Attempts to reach the Farmington Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Farmington Fire Department and LEAP’s executive director on Monday morning weren’t immediately successful.

Courtesy of Jacob Gage via CBS 13
A firefighter was killed and others were injured in a gas explosion on Farmington Falls Road on Monday morning.

Gov. Janet Mills, who lives in Farmington, confirmed the death and several injuries in a Monday statement and said the Maine fire marshal’s office “will thoroughly investigate the cause and origin of this devastating explosion.”

“I am grateful for the work of first responders who are at the scene and urge Maine people to avoid the area,” she said.

It was the first on-the-job death of a Maine firefighter since March 1 when Berwick fire Capt. Joel Barnes died while responding to an apartment fire in that town. His death came three years after East Millinocket fire Capt. Peter Larlee died from cardiac arrest while on duty at the town’s public safety building.

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