FARMINGTON, Maine — A fierce propane explosion leveled a not too long ago opened nonprofit middle after crews arrived to analyze the scent of fuel Monday morning, killing one firefighter and injuring six different individuals, together with fellow firefighters, officers mentioned.
The constructing had been evacuated after the fuel was detected, mentioned Farmington City Selectman Scott Landry. One firefighter was killed.
The blast injured 4 different firefighters, together with the city’s hearth chief; one worker of the nonprofit middle; and one ambulance employee, officers mentioned. Landry had beforehand mentioned all six of the injured have been firefighters.
The blast round eight:30 a.m. was heard for miles and had sufficient pressure to blow a automobile throughout an intersection. Paper, insulation and constructing particles rained on the realm.
All that was left of the two-story constructing housing LEAP Inc., which serves individuals with cognitive and mental disabilities, was a gap, Landry mentioned.
“It’s a conflict zone. It’s only a mess,” mentioned Landry, who can be a state consultant. “The constructing is gone.”
Kim Hilton, who works within the admissions division on the close by College of Maine at Farmington, mentioned there have been scary moments when the blast occurred.
“It felt like somebody hit our constructing with a automobile,” she mentioned.
The ambulance employee was handled and launched, state public security spokesman Steve McCausland mentioned.
The opposite 5 have been taken to regional trauma facilities, together with the state’s largest hospital, Maine Medical Middle in Portland, and remained hospitalized Monday afternoon, officers mentioned. Their situations weren’t launched.
Gov. Janet Mills — who’s from Farmington and whose workplace mentioned she knew the firefighter who died — visited the scene and promised the state hearth marshal’s workplace will examine.
“We’re going to unravel as a lot as we probably can to guard this group, to guard all different communities and ensure this doesn’t occur once more,” she mentioned.
The 40-by-60-foot (12-by-18-meter), two-story constructing, which served as the executive places of work for LEAP, opened eight to 10 weeks in the past and wasn’t but totally staffed, Landry mentioned.
The scent of fuel was detected and the constructing evacuated earlier than most employees had arrived for the day, he mentioned.
Farmington is about 70 miles north of Portland.