FARMINGTON — A second firefighter injured in Monday’s explosion at the LEAP building on Farmington Falls Road was released from a Portland hospital Thursday, and another’s condition was upgraded.

Other injured firefighters were said to be improving.

Farmington Fire Capt. Timothy “TD” Hardy who was seriously injured Monday in an explosion in Farmington, was released from a Portland hospital on Thursday. Town of Farmington photo

Capt. Timothy “TD” Hardy, 40, was to be escorted home in a procession of emergency vehicles from Augusta north on Route 27 to Farmington Fire Rescue Department. He was expected to be in the Farmington area at about 6 p.m. Thursday, according to Police Chief Jack Peck said.

Veteran firefighter Capt. Michael Bell, 68, died in the explosion. No service had been announced for him as of Thursday afternoon.

Firefighter Joseph Hastings, 24, returned home Wednesday. Deputy Fire Chief Clyde Ross was released Monday after being treated at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington.

Hardy’s family said he is ready to begin healing at home, according to information provided by Caroline Cornish of Maine Medical Center.

Farmington firefighter Theodore “Ted” Baxter who was injured in Monday’s explosion had his condition upgraded to serious Thursday at a Portland hospital. Photo courtesy JP Fortier/FFR

Firefighter Theodore “Ted” Baxter’s condition was upgraded from critical to serious. The 64-year-old’s family said he is up and walking, improving daily and visiting with family and friends. He was being transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit on Thursday, according to Cornish.

Fire Chief Terry Bell, 62, and Capt. Scott Baxter, 37, remained in critical condition at the Portland hospital. LEAP maintenance supervisor Larry Lord remained in critical condition at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, according to a spokeswoman there.

Capt. Baxter’s family said he is improving daily, Cornish wrote in an update.

Bell’s family reported that he was on his feet Thursday, visiting with family and Farmington Fire Rescue Department members.

“The patients and their families said they are overwhelmed by the immense outpouring of support from the community, state and nation. They thanked, in particular, the civilians and first responders who helped in the aftermath of the explosion, and the many fire departments that have provided coverage of Farmington in their time of need, as well as the investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office,” Cornish wrote.

They expressed their gratitude for the continuous support of the Portland Fire Department, and for the compassionate care provided at Franklin Memorial Hospital and Maine Medical Center, she wrote.

“They said they are all thinking of Larry Lord, are grateful for his heroic actions and wish him a full and speedy recovery,” Cornish wrote. “They are asking for space and privacy, and will update the community as they are able.”

Lord, a Jay resident, is credited with getting the dozen or so employees who were at the central office of Life Enrichment Advancing People out of the building just before the explosion Monday morning. In addition to his position at LEAP, he serves as animal control officer in Livermore Falls. He suffered burns over 50 percent of his body and has critical injuries. He is expected to be in the hospital for four months.

A firefighter runs a hose to control dust as officials clear and work the LEAP explosion site in Farmington on Thursday. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

Good news surfaced Thursday when a dog that had been missing since Monday was found by her owner who was displaced from her residence following the explosion.

Bath Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Chris Cummings held the leash of the dog, Emmy, while his owner, Jaime Green, went with an escort to get her belongings. Bath firefighters had cleaned debris from the dirt driveway leading to the residences behind LEAP to make it safe to get to for people whose homes were destroyed or heavily damaged. They were escorted by Farmington police, Bath firefighters and Franklin County Emergency Management Deputy Director Amanda Simoneau to get some belongings.

Green said she found the dog up the road from the blast site. Cummings said Green had been leaving food out for the dog, but she did not know whether it was the dog that was eating it.

As of Thursday afternoon, American Red Cross disaster responders were working with 27 people to fulfill immediate needs such as food, a safe place to sleep and other essentials. That number may grow, according to a release from the Red Cross.

The Red Cross will remain in contact with them to provide community referrals as they begin their road to recovery.

In the meantime, state and federal investigators continued their search of the site of the explosion to try to determine the origin and cause. Some excavation work was being done at the site Thursday.

Sgt. Kenneth Grimes of the Office of the Maine State Fire Marshal, said Tuesday that investigators were hoping to know what happened by Friday. It is a slow, methodical process, he said. At this time, investigators were leaning toward a liquid propane explosion.

According to a story on News Center Maine’s website, the identity of the gas supplier at the site was identified as CN Brown Co.

“We have no comment at this time,” a woman who answered the phone at the office in South Paris said.

Wear Red Friday

There has been an effort this week to get people to wear red Friday in honor of Capt. Michael Bell and in support of other firefighters.

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