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Farmington honors one year anniversary of explosion

A public memorial went up on the site of the blast.
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 6:09 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2020 at 10:11 AM EDT
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FARMINGTON, Maine (WABI) - On Wednesday the town of Farmington gathered to honor those who lives were forever changed by the explosion at the LEAP building.

“A year ago today I was stumbling through debris knee high in what was just a tremendous explosion themselves trying to put things together," said Farmington firefighter Stephan Bunker. "It’s all part of the healing process if you will. It puts a proper moment to the issue and it allows us to remember but also to move along.”

Fire Captain Michael Bell was killed.

Several other firefighters were seriously injured as was the building’s maintenance supervisor, Larry Lord.

Captain Bell was remembered as a mainstay in the community.

“He was with us for 30 years so that just shows his dedication to not only the fire department but the community at large," said Farmington Fire Department Deputy Chief Tim Hardy. "I know to a lot of us it seems like it just happened yesterday, and Captain Bell will always be in all of our thoughts.”

A private ceremony honored Bell, with a procession from the fire department to his grave site.

A public memorial now sits on the site of the blast.

“To some extent I think it may provide a little bit of closure for folks, its just been a remarkable year and so quickly has this year passed, said Town Manager Richard Davis.”

Governor Mills ordered all flags to be at half staff today to honor the firefighters.

Members of the community have been donating money to help those who lost their homes in the explosion.

“I have been more than happy to refer to Farmington as the best little city that we have in the state of Maine. Sometimes it takes a tragedy like this to really demonstrate the goodness in people," Bunker said.

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