The State of Maine Labor department is considering fining the town of Farmington more than $22,000 after a deadly explosion last fall. State officials say the town’s firefighters did not have adequate training or use proper equipment when they responded to the report of the propane leak at the LEAP Inc. building.
The blast killed fire Capt. Michael Bell and destroyed the building. Six other firefighters were hurt that day as was LEAP’s maintenance supervisor Larry Lord who remains in a rehab facility. The labor department found eight violations all of which town officials say have corrected. Investigators found the fire crew did not wear proper breathing apparatus or other gear. They also say the crew had not taken the federally required hazardous materials training and didn’t use proper procedures, by going inside the building to investigate rather than remaining outside. The town is not disputing the citations and plans to ask for lesser fines. The U.S. Occupational Health and safety Administration has already issued its fines.