FARMINGTON – Four days after the Farmington explosion that claimed the life of a firefighter, crews are starting to clean up the insulation and debris while communities continue to give their support to get Farmington residents back on their feet.
“I think it’s important for the continuity of the community and safety,” said Chief Robert Chase of Auburn Fire Department.
“They’ve obviously had some setbacks and we want to make sure that they stay safe and this is our opportunity to support that,” he said.
Auburn is just one of the fire departments in Farmington. Chase said all fire departments are a brotherhood and his department is helping the town to move forward.
“We did some hose testing, we got some of their apparatus equipment back in place, so it’s kind of a two-fold thing,” Chase said.
“We’re trying to fill a gap. We’re also trying to get them to stand on their own. We’ll be here and do all that we can as long as it’s needed,” he said.
Chase said he saw an instant outreach of help from many people and organizations.
The Regional Disaster Officer from American Red Cross said workers were in Farmington soon after the incident occurred.
“As the day rolled on it became very apparent that there was collateral damage to a number of homes in the area. A number of those people were going to need immediate assistance,” said Jonathan Shapiro, regional disaster officer for American Red Cross of Maine.
The Red Cross is assisting 27 people who were displaced from their homes.
Shapiro said the American Red Cross provided immediate housing, food and any replacement items victims needed.
“It doesn’t matter where you are on the social economic scale of this or what your thought process is if you turn around and everything you own within minutes is wiped out your cellphone maybe, your wallet,” said Shapiro.
“How many can navigate that successfully when all of a sudden they don’t have any resources?” he said.
Shapiro said the Red Cross is also making its casework, disaster mental health, and disaster spiritual care services available to those who need it after Monday’s disaster.
To access these services, call Red Cross disaster dispatch at (855) 891-7325.