LEAP Inc. is hosting Community Night on Thursday at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington to provide free resources to people coping with the stress and emotions of a fatal propane explosion at its building Sept. 16. Sun Journal file photo

FARMINGTON — The nonprofit social services agency that lost its central offices in a deadly propane explosion last month is providing free resources next week to help people cope with the stress and emotions of the blast.

Community Night will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Bass Room at Franklin Memorial Hospital.

Sarah Judd, human resources director for LEAP, has coordinated with the Red Cross and Tri-County Mental Health to make resources available, at no cost, to anyone who would like to attend.

“Our staff has been offered support to help them heal during this time, and we want to extend a similar opportunity to the community,” Judd wrote in a release.

Offering their assistance are Dr. Frederick White, a licensed psychologist, Matt McDade from Disaster Mental Health of Red Cross, Tri-County Mental Health Services and the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area.

LEAP, which stands for Life Enrichment Advancing People, has moved it central office operations and training site to Wilton.

Meanwhile, there are no new developments into how the propane line under the LEAP parking lot was damaged, resulting in the fuel eventually getting into the basement of the building at 313 Farmington Falls Road, and what caused it to explode Sept. 16, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, in a news release Friday.

The propane tank had been filled with nearly 400 gallons of fuel Sept. 13 by CN Brown of Paris, but was empty when LEAP maintenance supervisor Larry Lord checked it three days later and smelled propane in the basement, according to investigators.

Prior to calling 911, Lord made sure employees were out of the building.

It exploded minutes after firefighters arrived, killing Farmington Fire Rescue Capt. Michael Bell, and seriously or critically injured six other firefighters and Lord.

Lord remained in critical condition Friday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Capt. Scott Baxter’s condition was upgraded to satisfactory Friday at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

The other five firefighters have been released from hospitals.

In addition to the physical injuries, 30 people living in a trailer park behind the LEAP building were displaced when their homes were heavily damaged or destroyed. They have been relocated.


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