FARMINGTON, Maine — For generations, the Bell family has fought to keep Farmington safe from fires.
Farmington fire Capt. Michael Bell, 68, was investigating a propane gas leak at LEAP Inc. in Farmington Monday morning when the building exploded, killing Bell and wounding several other firefighters and a LEAP maintenance supervisor. His brother, Farmington fire Chief Terry Bell, was also critically injured in the blast.
The Bell brothers were the most recent men of their family to dedicate their time to the volunteer Farmington Fire Department. Michael Bell served for 30 years before he died. Terry Bell has been on the force for 42 years, Deputy Chief Tim Hardy said. Their father, the late Jack Bell, served for 49 years.
As the community worked to make sense of the aftermath of the explosion, that dedication came up time and time again.