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Another Firefighter Leaves Hospital After Deadly Blast in Maine, But 2 Still in Critical Condition

Firefighter Timothy Hardy was released from the hospital after he was hurt in a propane explosion in Farmington, Maine

Another firefighter injured in a propane explosion in Farmington, Maine, was released from the hospital, Friday, but two remained in critical condition, including the town's fire chief.

Officials announced Thursday that Capt. Timothy Hardy was released from Maine Medical Center in Portland. That leaves four people hospitalized in Portland and Boston, with two of them in critical condition as of Friday afternoon.

The blast at LEAP Inc. killed a firefighter, Capt. Michael Bell, and injured eight other people on Monday.

Bell's brother, Fire Chief Terry Bell, remained in critical condition at Maine Medical Center, along with Capt. Scott Baxter. Doctors at the hospital upgraded Baxter's father, firefighter Theodore Baxter, to fair condition.

And at Massachusetts General Hospital, LEAP maintenance worked Larry Lord, who was hailed as a hero for evacuating people before the blast, had his condition upgraded to serious from critical on Friday.

The explosion remains under investigation, and the town has been permanently changed. Thirty people were displaced from a mobile home park near the blast site — insulation was being cleaned up Friday.

"We need help taking care of the residents, because the Bell family would want these residents back to their normal day, back to their nomal things," said Gerry Pineau of the Westbrook, Maine, Fire Department.

Leap is relocating. Western Maine Development Group is allowing the nonprofit to use a former Barclay's call center in Wilton.

There is available space after the call center closed earlier in the year with a loss of more than 200 jobs.

"Everything's backed up," said LEAP board member Scott Landry, "except what you saw on the ground there ... paperwork, all of it."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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