A firefighter was killed and multiple people were injured after a building in Maine exploded on Monday, CBS News reports. The building in Farmington, Maine, houses the nonprofit Leap, which focuses on "supporting people with developmental, cognitive and intellectual disabilities to be actively involved in their home communities," according to its website. The explosion happened sometime before 8:30 a.m.
A spokeswoman from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Maine said that firefighters were responding to a complaint of a propane smell at the facility when the explosion happened, CNN reports.
Maine Governor Janet Mills confirmed on Twitter that a firefighter had died and that multiple others were injured. She also urged residents to avoid the area where the explosion had taken place.
Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this tragedy, especially to the loved ones of the firefighter lost and others injured. I am grateful for the work of first responders who are at the scene and urge Maine people to avoid the area. (2/2)— Governor Janet Mills (@GovJanetMills) September 16, 2019
"The building shook with a thunderous boom and we lost power," Farmington resident Jacob Gage told CNN. "At first I thought someone had driven into the building so I went outside to look and didn’t see or hear any signs of what it could have been."
"My stepdad was first on scene after the explosion," he added. “The scene was very ominous. There was still insulation falling from the sky like a gentle snow and first responders were running around trying to administer first aid ... ."
Photos shared by Gage to Facebook show insulation covering the ground and floating through the air, with debris scattered around the area and responders on the scene.
State Rep. Scott Landry told TIME that the office was "brand new" for Leap and that employees had called to report smelling propane gas. No patients were present at the office and the six employees were evacuated before the explosion occurred.
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