UPDATED THURSDAY AFTERNOON:

FARMINGTON — As the investigation into what caused a deadly explosion Monday at the LEAP central office building on Route 2 continued Thursday, it was learned that Capt. Timothy “TD” Hardy was discharged this afternoon from Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to Farmington Police Chief Jack Peck.

A procession of emergency vehicles was to escort Hardy from Augusta on Route 27, expecting to arrive around 6 p.m. at the Farmington Fire Station.

Meanwhile, the conditions of the other firefighters injured in Monday’s explosion continue to improve.

Theodore “Ted” Baxter, 64, was upgraded to serious condition. In a press release from Maine Medical Center, his family stated that he is up and walking. He is being transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit on Thursday.

Capt. Scott Baxter, 37, was listed in critical condition. His family said that he is improving daily.

Chief Terry Bell, 62, was listed in critical condition. His family reported that he was on his feet today visiting with family.

Capt. Michael Bell, 68, was killed in the blast that flattened the building and damaged 11 nearby mobile homes. Six firefighters and the maintenance supervisor were injured, including firefighter Joseph Hastings, 24, Chief Deputy S. Clyde Ross and maintenance supervisor Larry Lord.

“We can’t begin to thank EVERYONE enough for the kind words, support in many ways and phenomenal care all around,” Hardy’s wife, Bett, wrote in an update Wednesday. “Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the Bell families, Baxter family, the Lord family and all the other responders as they fight and heal physically and emotionally. The communities’ support means more than we could ever express — thank you all and please keep that positive energy coming.”

Lord, who got employees out of the building before the 8:28 a.m. blast apparently caused by a propane leak, remained in critical condition Wednesday morning at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Hastings was released from Maine Medical Center on Wednesday, according to a message on Facebook. He was escorted into town by a procession of firetrucks and emergency vehicles.

“Right now I will not need skin grafts and we’re hoping my ear drums will heal up in time without surgery,” Hastings wrote. “Thank you all for the outpouring of good wishes and messages. Please know that as much as I wish, I just can’t respond to every message. TD (Hardy) is currently moved into my room as a bunk mate so we’re keeping each other in good spirits. To the firefighter family near and far — Thank you all.”

Hastings added, “The Baxters and Bells still need your full support as they are not out of the woods yet. Thank you all and much love.”

Ross was treated at a local hospital Monday and released.

Firefighters responded to a report of a smell of propane at the building at about 8:07 a.m. Monday. They were in the building when the explosion occurred minutes later.

The Maine Department of Transportation reopened Route 2 at the site of the blast Tuesday night and utility workers were fixing power and cable lines Wednesday in front of the site at 313 Farmington Falls Road (Route 2).

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 the explosion in Farmington destroyed LEAP’s building. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

RENT-FREE OFFICE BUILDING OFFERED

Life Enrichment Advancing People (LEAP) has been offered rent-free office space by Western Maine Development on Weld Road (Route 156) in Wilton, according to WMTW Channel 8. LEAP is a nonprofit that works with people with developmental and cognitive disabilities.

Gil Reed, who owns the development company with Mark Berry, said they are in the process of drawing up terms of the lease for the 15,000-square-foot building, which will be a month-to-month occupancy, according to WMTW.

The building in Wilton is where Barclaycard was located. LEAP will only be required to pay the utilities. The location is move-in ready.

Reed said he and Berry wanted to do something for the community and that LEAP is “in pretty bad need right now,” according to the report.

Debris surrounds the site of the LEAP building Wednesday morning on Farmington Falls Road that exploded Monday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal


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