FARMINGTON, Maine (AP) — A maintenance supervisor credited with saving lives by evacuating a building minutes before a deadly gas explosion is returning to his home in Maine after more than six months in hospitals in Boston.
Larry Lord, 61, of Jay, is expected to return home Friday after being discharged from the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, outside Boston.
“On behalf of the people of Maine, it is my honor to say to Larry Lord: Welcome home. Your heroism on that tragic day, as well as your perseverance every day since, is a reminder during this difficult time that, with courage and kindness like yours, we can and will overcome,” Gov. Janet Mills said.
Lord helped almost a dozen people get out of a building on Sept. 16, 2019, in Farmington, after he smelled propane gas. The building exploded after he re-entered with firefighters to investigate the source of the propane leak. The explosion killed Farmington fire Capt. Michael Bell and injured several others.
Investigators concluded the entirety of a 400-gallon propane tank had emptied because of a gas line leak, with much of the fuel entering the building’s basement. It’s unclear what ignited the fumes.
The explosion shattered the building and left the scene littered with dust and paper. Nearby mobile homes were rendered uninhabitable.
Lord, who suffered extensive burns, spent about five months in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston before being transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown in February.
“We are so happy and grateful to be able to bring Larry home to continue his healing,” his wife, Sandy, said Wednesday in a statement.