USFA: Maine On-Duty Death

Farmington captain killed in explosion

United States Fire Administration

The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Captain Michael Bell, 68, of Farmington Fire Rescue on September 16, 2019.

Employees inside of a recently renovated two-story administrative office for Life Enrichment Advancing People (LEAP) Inc., a nonprofit that helps adults with developmental, cognitive, and intellectual disabilities, made an emergency call reporting that they smelled propane. No patients were inside and all employees inside of the building evacuated immediately.

Captain Michael Bell responded with the Farmington Fire Rescue to the emergency call. Soon after firefighters arrived on scene and began to investigate, there was an explosion that leveled the building.

Captain Bell was killed as a result of injuries sustained in the explosion.

Six other firefighters, including the fire chief, and a maintenance worker were reportedly injured and transported to hospitals around the state.

Tribute is being paid to Captain Bell at

To date, 34 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2019. Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

FirefighterNation: Captain Killed in Maine Explosion Identified

USFA: Maine On-Duty Death