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30 Displaced From Homes in Maine Explosion, Red Cross Assisting

All 11 mobile homes were rendered uninhabitable after a nearby gas explosion in Farmington, Maine

91619 maine explosion
News Center Maine

Thirty people were displaced by a deadly gas explosion in Maine on Monday and remain without a home.

Food and safe shelter are being provided to the residents of a mobile home park that was destroyed in the powerful blast, according to the Red Cross, which said it's working with 10 displaced people.

But Randy Dean, manager of a mobile home park, told the Morning Sentinel that there are actually 30 people looking for housing after all 11 mobile homes were rendered uninhabitable.

The homes were destroyed during a gas explosion at a facility for those who are disadvantaged or who have disabilities in Farmington. The tragedy killed a 68-year-old firefighter, injured seven people and destroyed the administrative building of the nonprofit Life Enrichment Advancing People, or LEAP.

"Everything is damaged. Absolutely everything," said Bailey Audette, whose home was the closest to the explosion.

She was at work when the explosion hit, but her husband, Brandon Audette, was sleeping in their bed at the time.

"I thought I was dreaming," he said. "Woke up to that and just covered myself up. And when I came to, everything was done. My first reaction was, where's my stepson?"

The boy, 7, was fine, just shocked. The couple returned to the home for the first time Wednesday to assess the damage and see what they could take with them.

"We are going to make every attempt to replace the homes which are beyond repair," Dean told nec.

The homes are insured, Dean said, and he wants to start rebuilding as soon as possible. None of the residents were hurt in the explosion, something he is grateful for.

In addition to providing shelter and food to the people who lost their home, the Red Cross said it is offering mental health and spiritual care services to those in the community affected by the blast.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency and Franklin County Emergency Agency are working with the Red Cross to respond to the explosion.

If you are interested in helping those who are affected by the explosion, click here.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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