FARMINGTON — One of the firefighters injured in Monday’s explosion has been released from the hospital.

Joseph Hastings has been discharged, according to a statement Wednesday afternoon from Maine Medical Center in Portland.

“I want to thank the Farmington community, my firefighter brothers and sisters, my family and everyone who has offered their support,” Hastings said in the MMC statement.

Firefighters Terry Bell, Scott Baxter and Theodore Baxter were in critical condition, according to the hospital. Timothy Hardy was listed in satisfactory condition.

MMC said they will update the firefighters’ conditions next on Thursday afternoon.

Gregg Toothaker, maintenance person for Western Maine Development walks through office space in Wilton on Wednesday afternoon. The office space, formerly occupied by Barclaycard, has been offered to LEAP to use by Western Maine Development after an explosion in Farmington destroyed LEAP’s building. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LEAP finds new office space

The nonprofit group that lost its building in an explosion Monday is getting an offer for free office space in Wilton.

Western Maine Development offered Life Enrichment Advancing People (LEAP) rent-free office space on Weld Road (Route 156) in Wilton, according to a WMTW report. LEAP Inc. works with people with developmental and cognitive disabilities.

Gil Reed, who owns the company with his partner Mark Berry, said they are in the process of drawing up terms of the lease for the 15,000-square-foot building where Barclaycard used to occupy, which will be a month-to-month occupancy, according to the news station. LEAP will only be required to pay the utilities.

Reed said the location is “move-in ready” and the agency can move in as soon as possible.

Red Cross offers assistance

The American Red Cross announced Wednesday that it is helping 17 people with “immediate needs such as food, a safe place to sleep and other essentials.”

It is estimated that 30 people lost their homes Monday when a nearby building exploded. The building was owned by LEAP, which stands for Life Enrichment Advancing People, a nonprofit that provides services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

On Tuesday, the Red Cross announced it was helping 10 people find shelter in connection with the explosion.

Community supports fire department

Dick Chabot, a retired Farmington volunteer firefighter for 25 years, works the fire department’s food booth Wednesday at the Farmington Fair. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Dick Chabot, a retired Farmington volunteer firefighter of 25 years, was at the fire department’s food booth at the Farmington Fair on Monday when an explosion a few blocks away shook the building he was standing in.

“I didn’t know what it was,“ Chabot said. “Nobody did.”

Chabot says the department has been getting a lot of support from fairgoers, noting that people walking by have been giving money without making any purchases.

United Way collecting donations

United Way of the Tri-Valley Area has established a means to help those affected by the recent explosion at the LEAP building.

The United Way will direct the funds it receives directly to LEAP and those affected. It can be done online at www.uwtva.org, via mail, PO Box 126, Farmington 04938, or at its 218 Fairbanks Road office.

Route 2 reopens

Crews were restoring power and cable lines Wednesday on Route 2 near the site of Monday’s explosion in Farmington. The road reopened Tuesday night. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal


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