In the wake of Monday's explosion in Farmington that killed a veteran firefighter and critically injured several others, local fire department officials say they are focused on helping their own.
Acting Fire Chief Tim Hardy started work at the Farmington Fire Department the year after Chief Terry Bell joined in the 1970’s. Bell’s brother Michael, who died in Monday's propane gas explosion, had been with the department for 30 years. Hardy says everybody in the department is doing what they can to help the Bell family and the families of other firefighters still hospitalized.
“We’ve all come up through the ranks together," Hardy says. "We’ve all started, right, as a rookie firefighter and worked our way up. And as you folks know, and you have seen it in your communities, it’s a brotherhood. It’s family. “
Hardy’s son was one of the firefighters injured in the blast, but his condition has been upgraded to fair. “My son, his biggest concern was he lost his cell phone in the fire," Hardy says. "He called me bright and early this morning. He’s got a new cellphone."
The condition of firefighter Joseph Hastings has also been upgraded to fair. Chief Terry Bell, Capt. Scott Baxter, and his father, Theodore Baxter, are in critical condition.
Hardy says the department is a brotherhood, a family connected through their service. He says he plans to spend as much time as he can visiting his injured colleagues.