A year ago Wednesday, a deadly propane explosion rocked Farmington, killing one firefighter and injuring seven other people, including six firefighters.
The blast leveled the nonprofit LEAP building. Adjacent homes, cars, businesses and a fire truck were damaged. And residents of nearby mobile homes were displaced.
"Of course, it was a big shock to everyone," says Richard Davis, Farmington's town manager. "But I was really gratified by how quickly the community pulled together as one, and really gives real meaning to the word 'community.' "
Davis says the outpouring of food, manpower and moral support was overwhelming. "We had 80 fire departments from around the state who responded to our station, and manned our station around the clock while the firefighters were recovering in the hospital."
In the aftermath of the explosion, the town of Farmington was fined more than $22,000 for failing to ensure firefighters had proper training and equipment when they investigated the propane leak that caused the deadly explosion. Davis says the deficiencies have been corrected and gear and training have been upgraded.
He says the town has also added four full-time fighters, bringing the number to five.
On Wednesday, there will be a drive-by memorial at the blast site, with remarks planned for 11:00 a.m.