February 24, 2020
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Hero still recovering at Boston hospital four months after deadly Farmington explosion

Courtesy of Courtney Webster
Courtesy of Courtney Webster
Larry Lord stands outside the LEAP Inc. building with his grandson, Nash Winokur. Lord, the maintenance supervisor at LEAP, is credited with getting employees out of the building before it exploded on Sept. 16, 2019.

The man credited with saving lives before a gas explosion rocked Farmington is still recovering at a Boston hospital more than four months after the deadly blast.

Larry Lord, who is from Jay, is listed in fair condition at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he has been since suffering critical injuries in the September gas explosion, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

Lord’s condition was upgraded from serious condition earlier this month. He was listed in critical condition for close to a month after he was admitted into the Boston hospital before steadily improving as fall turned into winter. His condition worsened in late December when he was downgraded from fair to serious condition.

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, 2019. 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; Capt. Scott Baxter; his father, Theodore Baxter; and Joseph Hastings.

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 on Sept. 18, Hardy was released on Sept. 19, Theodore Baxter was released on Sept. 23, Terry Bell was released on Oct. 8 and Scott Baxter was released Oct. 13, all of whom were treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Lord, the maintenance manager at LEAP, suffered severe burns on over half his body, multiple traumas, broken bones and critical injuries in the blast. He was the only LEAP employee injured in the blast.

Lord was lauded as a hero for saving the lives of LEAP employees when he alerted people to the smell of gas prior to the explosion and helped evacuate them.

 


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