Firefighter is killed and multiple people are injured in a massive explosion in Maine
A firefighter has been killed in a massive propane gas explosion at a facility for people with disabilities in Maine that left five first responders injured, along with a civilian worker.
The blast happened at Leap Inc. in Farmington at around 8:30am and had enough force to blow a vehicle across an intersection.
Images from the scene show the building has been destroyed, with widespread destruction.
The building housing Leap Inc., which serves people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities, was only a couple of weeks old, Farmington Town Selectman Scott Landry said. A hole is all that is left.
Farmington Police Chief Jack Peck said the incident appears to be an accident, with Sheriff Scott Nichols describing the scene as ‘horrible’.
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An aerial view of the devastation after an explosion at the Life Enrichment Advancing People (LEAP) building, in Farmington, Maine killed one firefighter and injured multiple other people on Monday morning
The body a firefighter killed in a gas explosion Monday is moved to a coroner’s vehicle draped in the American flag
A town official says a propane gas explosion has destroyed a building in Farmington, Maine, and killed a firefighter
Town Selectman Scott Landry says the building had been evacuated when someone smelled gas Monday morning
Landry says that one firefighter was killed and that six others, including four firefighters, were taken to a hospital
Landry says the building had been evacuated when someone smelled gas Monday morning. The explosion occurred after firefighters arrived.
The Farmington Police Department said in a statement: ‘Upon arrival and while investigating the scene, the building exploded.’
One firefighter was killed with four more, including the town’s fire chief, injured. One LEAP maintenance worker and one ambulance worker were also taken to hospital, موسوعة المعرفة reports. The conditions of those injured was not immediately known but they are thought to have suffered burns.
‘The new building is spread all over creation,’ Landry said.
He added: ‘It looks like a war zone here. The newly constructed building is gone. The adjacent building is half down. They are hosing down what debris is left of the building, not much.’
LEAP worker Lisa Charles, who lives down the street from where the blast occurred, was home with her kids when the explosion startled the family.
She stepped outside to see debris falling from the sky — and feared the worst for her colleagues.
‘I know everybody in there. I thought for sure everybody was gone,’ she said. ‘They got a warning from the maintenance guy who was a hero for telling them to evacuate.’
The blast around 8:30am was heard for miles around and is said to have shook nearby buildings.
Video shows debris raining down on homes and buildings in the neighborhood.
Kim Hilton, who works in the admissions department at the nearby University of Maine at Farmington, said there were scary moment when the blast occurred.
‘It felt like someone hit our building with a vehicle,’ she said.
Firefighters walk through the scene of an explosion Monday. Officials say a town’s fire chief is among the injured
The Leap building pictured in August 2018. The new building housing Leap Inc., which serves people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities, was only a couple of weeks old
Maine Governor Janet Mills tweeted following the blast, calling it a ‘devastating explosion’
Jacob Gage told موسوعة المعرفة his building ‘shook with a thunderous boom’ and lost power.
He added: ‘The scene was very ominous. There was still insulation falling from the sky like a gentle snow and first responders were running around trying to administer first aid and locate the missing chief.’
Farmington is about 70 miles north of Portland.
Leap says it a ‘private nonprofit organization devoted to enabling individuals with developmental, cognitive and intellectual disabilities to thrive in small groups, and individualized apartments or homes, and through a variety of community supports’.
Maine Governor Janet Mills confirmed she knew the firefighter killed in the blast, adding authorities are working to find out the cause of the explosion to ‘make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody else again’.
She had earlier tweeted: ‘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.
‘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.’
Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said: ‘I am absolutely heartbroken to hear that a firefighter was killed and several others were injured in a terrible explosion responding to a call in Farmington this morning.
‘I am praying for the firefighters and their families as well as the civilians who were hurt in today’s explosion. We can never repay our debt to the brave men and women like these firefighters in Farmington today who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.’
The blast around 8:30 a.m. was heard for miles around with video showing debris raining down on homes and buildings
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office called it a ‘huge explosion’. One firefighter was killed and six others taken to hospitals
Leap says it a ‘private nonprofit organization devoted to enabling individuals with developmental, cognitive and intellectual disabilities to thrive in small groups, and individualized apartments or homes, and through a variety of community supports’
The building housing Leap Inc., which serves people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities, was only a few weeks old
Jacob Gage said his building ‘shook with a thunderous boom’ and lost power after the blast
Leap confirmed a maintenance man, Larry Lord, 60, working for the charity was injured in the blast.
He has been credited with getting a number of people to safety moments before the explosion and is now being treated for multiple burns.
LEAP wrote on Facebook: ‘There was an explosion at LEAPs Central office this morning. Staff were evacuated and to the best of our knowledge no leap staff were in the building at the time of the explosion.
‘First responders and a LEAP maintenance person were injured in the blast. Our hearts go out to anyone injured or impacted today. There were many heros (sic) whose actions today saved additional lives. Those heros included first responders, LEAP staff and neighbors.’