A propane explosion in Maine leveled new construction that houses a nonprofit after crews arrived to investigate the smell of gas Monday morning, killing one firefighter and injuring at least six other people, officials say. The building in Farmington, about 85 miles north of Portland, had been evacuated after the smell of gas was detected, says Farmington Town Selectman Scott Landry, per the AP. The conditions of the injured—four firefighters, an ambulance worker, and an employee of the nonprofit—weren't immediately known. The building housing Leap Inc., which serves people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities, was only a few weeks old, Landry says. A hole is all that's left. "The new building is spread all over creation," he adds.
The blast around 8:30am was heard for miles around. Video shows debris raining down on homes and buildings in the neighborhood. Several nearby businesses have closed. Kim Hilton, who works in the admissions department at the nearby University of Maine Farmington, says there were scary moments when the blast occurred. "It felt like someone hit our building with a vehicle," she said. Gov. Janet Mills said on Twitter that she was monitoring the situation and that the state fire marshal's office will investigate. "Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this tragedy, especially to the loved ones of the firefighter lost and others injured," she wrote. (Read more Maine stories.)