November 12, 2019
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Last firefighter injured in Farmington gas explosion released from hospital

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
Emergency responders salute as the procession carrying the body of Farmington Fire Capt. Michael Bell goes through Farmington on Sept. 17, 2019.

Almost a month after a gas explosion leveled a building in Farmington, the last firefighter who was hurt in the blast is going home.

Capt. Scott Baxter was released over the weekend from Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he had been since suffering critical injuries in the Sept. 16 blast, a hospital spokeswoman said Sunday. He was discharged to a rehabilitation facility.

The hospital said no additional information would be released.

An explosion leveled a two-story building that housed the central offices for a nonprofit, LEAP Inc., that serves adults with developmental disabilities at 313 Farmington Falls Road — also known as Route 2 — just after 8 a.m. Sept. 16. The powerful explosion could be heard from as far away as Livermore, which is more than 30 miles southwest.

The blast killed Farmington fire Capt. Michael Bell, 68, a 30-year veteran of the department and brother of the department’s chief. Six other firefighters were injured in the blast, including Fire Chief Terry Bell; Deputy Fire Chief Clyde Ross; Capt. Timothy Hardy; Baxter; his father, Theodore Baxter; and Joseph Hastings. The building’s maintenance manager, 60-year-old Larry Lord of Jay, also was injured in the blast.

The firefighters had been called to LEAP’s offices for a propane leak.

Ross was treated and released from a Farmington hospital on Sept. 16. Hastings was released from Maine Medical Center on Sept. 18, Hardy was released on Sept. 19, Theodore Baxter was released on Sept. 23 and Terry Bell was released on Oct. 8.

Lord has been hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he was still listed in critical condition last week. An update on his condition wasn’t immediately available Monday morning.



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