FARMINGTON — It’s the day so many have been waiting on for long months.

Larry Lord Submitted photo

Larry Lord is going home.

Hailed as a hero in the aftermath of a propane explosion in September, the 62-year-old is scheduled to be discharged Friday morning from the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.

After seven long and uncertain months, this is the news Lord’s family — and the community at large — has been waiting for.

“We are so happy and grateful to be able to bring Larry home to continue his healing,” said his wife, Sandy Lord. “While the doctors told us that Larry still faces a long and difficult road, we are thrilled that he will be home, with us, so we can support him every step of the way.”

Lord was the supervisor of the LEAP Inc. building and is credited with getting employees outside moments before the blast that claimed the life of Capt. Michael Bell. The Sept. 16 blast injured half a dozen other firefighters, and Lord himself as he struggled to help clear the building.

It was believed a dozen employees escaped to safety due to Lord’s efforts.

But for seven months, he has been treated for burns over much of his body that he suffered in the explosion. There were times when his fate was uncertain.

“Larry overcame long odds and survived,” his wife said. “That would not have been possible without the dedication, professionalism and warmth that Larry’s health care team provided throughout, from Massachusetts General Hospital and Spaulding, and the first responders in Farmington, and of course our friends and family.”

In March, Lord was one of six people honored with a Red Cross Hero’s Award.

“Larry’s a very humble and private man and he’ll probably say, ‘I did my job that day, and I did what anyone else would do,’” said Megan Goodine, LEAP’s residential services director, when she presented the award. “But I have 12 friends and co-workers who feel very differently, as do their families.”

Tributes and welcomes are being planned to celebrate Lord’s release from the hospital. Details about those celebrations are still to come.

Yet those who know Lord best say he appreciates all the support, but prefers to reserve the “hero” title for others.

“In Larry’s mind,” said Sandy Lord, “the real heroes are the entire Farmington community, especially the many firefighters who paid a heavy price and Capt. Michael Bell who gave his life.”

The Lord family has asked for privacy once the hoopla of Larry’s homecoming on Friday is over.

The final Office of State Fire Marshal report on the causes of the explosion is still pending and is expected for release in the next few weeks.


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