A Farmington (ME) fire captain was killed in a propane explosion that injured six other firefighters and another person, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
On September 16, 2019, Employees inside of a recently renovated two-story administrative office for Life Enrichment Advancing People (LEAP) Inc., a nonprofit that helps adults with developmental, cognitive, and intellectual disabilities, made an emergency call reporting that they smelled propane. No patients were inside and all employees inside of the building evacuated immediately. Captain Michael Bell, 68, responded with the Farmington Fire Rescue to the emergency call. Soon after firefighters arrived on scene and began to investigate, there was an explosion that leveled the building. Captain Bell was killed as a result of injuries sustained in the explosion. Six other firefighters, including his brother Fire Chief Terry Bell and a maintenance worker were reportedly injured and transported to hospitals around the state.
The captain had 30 years of service.