An ambulance carrying Larry Lord, 62, of Jay, passes under a firefighters’ arch on Main Street in Jay as he is escorted to his residence Friday. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Justin Shink of Livermore holds his son, Henry, while they wait for a convoy of emergency and personal vehicles escorting Larry Lord, 62, of Jay home Friday. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

JAY — Larry Lord was escorted through three states and many towns Friday on his way home after nearly seven months of treatment for critical injuries from propane explosion last year in Farmington.

The 62-year-old received a hero’s welcome along the way.

He is credited with saving about a dozen co-workers at the LEAP Inc. building in Farmington before it exploded. He called 911, and several minutes after members of the Farmington Fire Rescue Department showed up the blast occurred.

Farmington Fire Capt. Michael A. Bell, 68, was killed and six other firefighters, including Bell’s brother, Chief Terry Bell, and Lord, a maintenance supervisor for LEAP, were either seriously or critically injured.

Livermore residents Anne Hammond and her husband, Barry, turned out for the welcome home.

“We sure are happy for him to come home,” Anne Hammond of Livermore said. “He saved a lot of lives. He’s a hero. We wouldn’t have missed this.”

“I’m glad he’s home,” said her husband, Barry. “I am sure he is too. We are proud of him.”

“He’s a hero,” Joline Crawford of Jay said of Lord. “I actually work with John Bell who lost his brother. Larry’s a true hero. He deserves it.”

Dani Tannebaum of Jay holds a sign to welcome Larry Lord of Jay home on Friday. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

The Massachusetts State Police Honor Guard led Lord’s ambulance from the rehabilitation center in Boston to the New Hampshire line. The New Hampshire State Police Honor Guard took over the escort to the Maine line, where Maine State Police Honor Guard took the lead.

Blaring sirens could be heard in the distance as the fleet of emergency vehicles, including State Police, local police, state fire investigators, fire departments, ambulances and personal vehicles drew closer on Main Street to Chisholm village after 3 p.m. in Jay. Wilton and Jay fire rescue department made an arch with a large flag stretched between the ladder trucks in front of St. Rose of Lima Church, near the Livermore Falls line.

As emergency and personal vehicles passed under the arch, the driver of the ambulance carrying Lord and other people in it wore masks; some waved to those on the sides of the road.

The flag flapped in the wind. The parking lot at the church’s Parish Hall started to fill up early, while others parked their vehicles on the side of the road. Some people got out while others stayed in.

Steven Voivin puts up a sign in his brother’s yard Friday to welcome home Larry Lord, who lives across the road. Lord has been recovering at Boston facilities for nearly seven months due to injuries from a propane explosion in Farmington last September. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The convoy went through several towns before it reached downtown Farmington and then continued heading toward Jay.

“There was a good amount of people downtown,” Farmington Chief Terry Bell said after participating in the escort. “It was a good turnout. Everyone was social distancing which was good.”

Well-wishers greet Larry Lord as he returns to his home in Jay on Friday after nearly seven months in Boston medical facilities to treat injuries from a massive propane explosion in Farmington last summer. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

In Jay, a couple of people held signs of welcome near the arch.

One that read “Welcome home Larry” was held by Dani Tannenbaum of Jay. “Thank you” and “Farmington Strong” were handwritten on the poster as she waited for Lord’s arrival.

“It means a lot to see all of these people here to welcome him,” she said. “He is the last one to come home.”

Larry Lord returns to his home in Jay on Friday after nearly seven months in Boston medical facilities to treat critical injuries from a propane explosion in Farmington last September. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

An ambulance brings Larry Lord to his home in Jay on Friday after he spent nearly seven months in Boston medical facilities for treatment of injuries from a propane explosion in Farmington last September. He was escorted through three states by dozens of emergency vehicles. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.