A compressed gas cylinder exploded Friday morning at D.A.B. Used Auto Sales Inc. in Freeport, seriously injuring one person. NEWS CENTER Maine photo

FREEPORT — The owner of a Freeport auto sales and salvage business was seriously injured in an explosion Friday morning.

Dave Bolduc, who owns D.A.B. Used Auto Sales Inc., was operating an excavator when he punctured a roughly 4-foot-tall industrial gas cylinder used for applications like welding, officials said. The explosion happened around 9 a.m. at his salvage yard on Allen Range Road.

Bolduc, 60, suffered “very serious” burns to his hands and face, according to Jarred Hinton, public information officer for the Freeport Fire/Rescue Department. Bolduc was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland and was listed in fair condition Friday afternoon, a hospital spokesperson said.

After the explosion, workers immediately called 911 and emergency personnel arrived within a few minutes, Hinton said.

“Their quick response to summon emergency services probably did him significant good,” Hinton said, adding that Bolduc was talking with emergency personnel inside the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Hinton said the explosion was “pretty powerful.”


“We had reports of people from miles away who felt the explosion,” he said.

The explosion caused “substantial” damage to the excavator and surrounding buildings on the property, Deputy Fire Chief Scott Smith said. It also caused a small debris fire that was extinguished by workers, he said.

Representatives of the Office of the State Fire Marshal and Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived at the business to investigate how the cylinder exploded.

Freeport explosion

Fire and police personnel responded to D.A.B. Used Auto Sales Inc. in Freeport, where the owner, Dave Bolduc, sustained burns to his hands and face when he punctured a roughly 4-foot-tall industrial gas cylinder while operating an excavator. Jason Claffey/The Times Record

Carl Spencer, who lives nearby on Allen Range Road, said he was sleeping at the time of the explosion.

“It was loud,” Spencer said. “It woke me right up.”

The noise spooked his cat and knocked down a spice rack in his kitchen, he said.

Bolduc founded his business in 1992 and has a love for vintage cars, according to the company’s website.

“D.A.B. is well known in the vintage car community,” the website reads. “(Bolduc) has gained a vast knowledge of automobiles and made many friends through the years pursuing his passion for automobiles.

“We’d like to thank our family & friends who have supported us through the years.”

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