Elliot Olsen is a nationally respected explosion lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you know someone affected by this Farmington explosion, you should convince them to call Elliot at (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation. He understands the pain and suffering experienced after such a catastrophic event, and he can help survivors on their road to recovery.

Farmington explosion hero Larry Lord, who has been hospitalized since the Sept. 16 tragedy, was upgraded to fair condition.

Lord is credited with saving the lives of almost a dozen LEAP employees by evacuating the building in Farmington, Maine, before first-responders arrived. Since that time, the maintenance supervisor has been recovering at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, where he has been listed in serious condition for many weeks.

According to a GoFundMe page, “Larry suffered severe burns on over half of his body, multiple traumas, broken bones, and critical injuries. He was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he’s expected to be for 4 months.”

In addition to Lord’s injuries, the blast killed Farmington fire captain Michael Bell and injured six other firefighters, all of whom have been released from hospitals and rehab centers. Three of the injured have returned to work for the fire department.

Farmington explosion hero:
Lord first to smell gas

Lord was the first person to notice the smell of gas at the LEAP facility, and when firefighters arrived, he went back into the building with them, just before the explosion. Lord immediately was taken to the Massachusetts General Hospital ICU burn unit, where he was initially listed in critical condition.

Last week, the Farmington fire department returned to normal operations for the first time since the explosion, although assistant fire chief Tim Hardy said the community won’t be fully complete until Lord is home from the hospital.

“We’re still keeping in our mind we’re not going to be complete until we can get Larry Lord home,” Hardy said.

Farmington explosion hero:
What happened Sept. 16

The Sept. 16 propane gas explosion leveled a recently renovated facility that was the home to the administrative offices for LEAP Inc., an organization that helps people with developmental disabilities.

Firefighters were called to the building on Route 2 and Farmington Falls Road at 8:07 a.m. after the gas smell had been called in. The explosion rocked the area minutes later, and afterward, white insulation from the demolished building covered the ground like snow.

Farmington resident Robert Ferro said it was “raining cellulose,” and the sky was black. He said the explosion could be heard for miles around.

“You ever heard a sonic boom?” Ferro said. “It was like that, only 10 times the strength.”

Farmington explosion hero:
A ‘close-knit’ community

Jim Kiernan, a member of the Farmington Fire Rescue who is employed as a public works foreman, described the scene in a phone call to the Boston Globe: “I was here shortly after the explosion. I was six miles away, so I didn’t feel the explosion. It was heard 17 miles away. Quite an explosion. … It was mayhem. A lot of injured people and debris fields covering a big area. Nothing left of the building. There were pieces everywhere.”

Maine Gov. Janet T. Mills, who is from Farmington, said in a statement: “Farmington is a strong, close-knit, and resilient community, of which I am proud to be a part. This loss is devastating and felt by all of Maine.”

Theresa Ferro, the wife of Robert Ferro and LEAP employee, also described the town as close-knit. “I like to believe that in this state, I like to believe that in this town, we take care of each other,” she said.

Farmington explosion hero:
Difficult year for Maine

Bell, 68, was a 30-year-veteran of the Farmington fire department, and the brother of fire chief Terry Bell, 62, who was one of the six firefighters injured in the explosion. The others: captain Timothy D. Hardy, 40; captain Scott Baxter, 37; his father, Theodore Baxter, 64; Joseph Hastings, 24; and deputy fire chief Clyde Ross.

Ross, Hardy, and Hastings have all returned to work. Terry Bell and the Baxters are recovering at home.

Bell’s death was another heartbreaking loss in 2019 for Maine firefighters. On March 1, fire captain Joel Barnes was killed battling a four-alarm house fire in Berwick in the southern part of the state. Then, at the memorial service for Barnes, Oxford fire chief Gary Sacco, 63, suffered a medical emergency and died.

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