Farmington marks one year since deadly explosion

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Wednesday marks one year since the explosion in Farmington that devastated the community and the town is marking the anniversary.Fire Capt. Michael Bell was killed in the blast on Sept. 16, 2019. Six firefighters and LEAP maintenance manager Larry Lord were seriously injured.Lord was hailed as a hero for evacuating LEAP employees before the building exploded. He burned over 80% of his body and spent several months in the hospital.Farmington firefighters and Bell’s family will gather Wednesday morning for a private ceremony at the fire station. A moment of silence will be held at the exact time of the explosion, just after 8 a.m.There will be a procession from the fire station to Capt. Bell’s grave at Fairview Cemetery between 8:30 and 9 a.m. followed by another private ceremony at the cemetery.A public memorial will be set up on the site of the former LEAP building on Farmington Falls Road. That memorial will include a ladder truck and flag display, a memorial wreath, Captain Bell’s fire gear, and “thank you” banners.The public is invited to drive-by only due to COVID restrictions. A large-scale event cannot be held.Gov. Janet Mills has also ordered all flags be flown at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of the firefighters.Investigators determined a propane leak caused by a severed gas line was responsible for the deadly explosion.

Wednesday marks one year since the explosion in Farmington that devastated the community and the town is marking the anniversary.

Fire Capt. Michael Bell was killed in the blast on Sept. 16, 2019. Six firefighters and LEAP maintenance manager Larry Lord were seriously injured.

Lord was hailed as a hero for evacuating LEAP employees before the building exploded. He burned over 80% of his body and spent several months in the hospital.

Farmington firefighters and Bell’s family will gather Wednesday morning for a private ceremony at the fire station. A moment of silence will be held at the exact time of the explosion, just after 8 a.m.

There will be a procession from the fire station to Capt. Bell’s grave at Fairview Cemetery between 8:30 and 9 a.m. followed by another private ceremony at the cemetery.

A public memorial will be set up on the site of the former LEAP building on Farmington Falls Road. That memorial will include a ladder truck and flag display, a memorial wreath, Captain Bell’s fire gear, and “thank you” banners.

The public is invited to drive-by only due to COVID restrictions. A large-scale event cannot be held.

Gov. Janet Mills has also ordered all flags be flown at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of the firefighters.

Investigators determined a propane leak caused by a severed gas line was responsible for the deadly explosion.

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