FARMINGTON — According to a report from the Associated Press Wednesday, April 1, the town of Farmington must pay more than $22,000 in fines for failing to ensure firefighters had proper training and equipment when they investigated a propane leak that caused a deadly explosion last year.

The Maine Department of Labor has fined the town of Farmington in connection with the fatal explosion on Sept. 16 at the LEAP Inc. building in Farmington. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

The Sept. 16 explosion destroyed the LEAP Inc. building, killed Farmington fire Capt. Michael Bell and injured seven other people. The Maine Department of Labor has issued preliminary findings about the blast, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The state found that firefighters “did not don self-contained breathing apparatus,” among other problems, the department said.

Thursday Town Manager Richard Davis said, “All citations but one, for hazardous materials operations training, have been corrected. Trainings are scheduled for April 11 and 18. None had been scheduled before then.”

Davis said he has requested a penalty discussion, possible since all citations have been corrected, to negotiate the fines down to a lower amount.
Davis also said Farmington Fire Chief Terry Bell is back to work.
“He’s doing well, we’re glad to have him here,” he said.
Bell referred comments concerning the fines to Davis.

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