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1 firefighter dead, multiple people injured in a building explosion in Maine: police

Posted at 10:46 AM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-16 10:46:39-04

FARMINGTON, M.E — One firefighter was killed and several people were injured in an explosion at a building in Farmington, Maine, on Monday, officials said.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills said that a firefighter had died in the incident.

“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,” she said.

Live updates on the building explosion

Officials were checking out a complaint of a propane smell at the LEAP facility when the explosion happened, a spokeswoman with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said. The first call about the smell came into police at 8:06 a.m. ET, the spokeswoman said.

LEAP, which stands for Life Enrichment Advancing People, is a group that provides services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to its website.

Photos from the scene show a building in ruins.

Rubble, papers and what appeared to be insulation covered the street and areas around the explosion site.

Jacob Gage, who lives in Farmington, told CNN he was lying in bed when his building “shook with a thunderous boom” and his home lost power.

He spoke with his family and then rushed to the scene to check on his sister, who lives nearby.

“The scene was very ominous,” he said. “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, located along Route 2 in western-central Maine, had about 7,760 residents as of the 2010 Census.