FARMINGTON, Maine — The lives of eight people and their families were changed forever Monday when an apparent gas-related explosion leveled a nonprofit building in Farmington.
Farmington Fire Capt. Michael Bell was killed in the blast and seven others were injured, including six firefighters and a LEAP, Inc., maintenance worker.
Chief Terry Bell, Capt. Timothy D. Hardy, Capt. Scott Baxter, Firefighter Theodore Baxter, Firefighter Joseph Hastings and Deputy Chief Clyde Ross were the six firefighters injured. Deputy Chief Ross was treated and released Monday. Collectively, conditions for some of the remaining five have changed. Larry Lord, the maintenance worker, was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital.
The Farmington Police Department released information Wednesday regarding how donations could be made and where they could be sent.
Locally, donations for victims and their families can be made at Franklin Savings Bank, located at 197 Main St. in Farmington. It's unclear if the bank's five other branches in Jay, Rangeley, Rumford, Skowhegan and Wilton were participating.
The bank is matching all donations in each account up to $10,000 per account.
You're asked to please refer to the following accounts when donating:
Farmington Firemen's Benevolent Association
(Donations specifically for the firefighters and their families)
Farmington Disaster Relief Fund
(Donations for others affected by the event)
By mail, donations for LEAP employees, firefighters and others affected can be made through the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area by writing a check payable to "United Way of Tri-Valley Area" and labeled "LEAP Explosion Fund." An address is listed below, and more information is available from UWTVA at uwtva.org.
United Way of the Tri-Valley Area
218 Fairbanks Rd., P.O. Box 126
Farmington, ME 04938
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Larry Lord. As of Wednesday night, the crowdfunding tool had already raised more than $80,000.
The Portland Firefighters Burn Foundation has set up an account where people can donate to the Farmington firefighters' families.
An official said it's linked through the foundation's website, here.