Video: Two injured in explosion at Lewiston auto repair shop

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LEWISTON – Two men were injured in an explosion Friday morning that blew up the back wall of the Rotary Auto Sales store on Sabattus Street.

Firefighters and other rescue personnel responded to 865 Sabattus Street shortly after 11 a.m. The location is near Randall Road.

A witness said he saw people fleeing the building after hearing an explosion. He said a man’s clothes appeared to be on fire as he fled from the building.

Rotary officials reported that two men were injured in the blast. One of the men, Ryan Bouchard of Lewiston, has been described as “badly burned” by a family member.

A Lewiston firefighter shut down his line on Friday at the back of Rotary Auto Sales on Sabattus Street. The back wall was blown up by an explosion. Russ Dillingham / Journal of the Sun

A friend said Bouchard was under a truck doing grinding work when the explosion occurred. His face, hair and arm were badly burned, the friend said. Bouchard had to spend the night in the hospital to make sure his lungs did not swell from the smoke inhalation.

A family member said later on Friday that Bouchard suffered second-degree burns and expected him to recover. His children had visited him in the hospital earlier today, he said.

The second worker injured in the blast was hit by falling bricks, according to Nate Pearson, the company’s chief executive. He went to the hospital as a precaution to be examined for minor injuries and smoke inhalation.

Firefighters fought the blaze and confirmed they had it under control at around 11:35 am. Hours later, the Office of the State Fire Marshal was called to the scene to investigate the source of the fire. ‘explosion. There was no word Friday night on what caused the explosion. Investigators remained at the scene after 7 p.m.

Rotary Auto Sales will be temporarily closed, a company official reported, as the investigation continues and repairs are made to the building.

Lewiston firefighters put out a fire on Friday morning following an explosion at Rotary Auto Sales at 865 Sabattus Street. Company officials reported that two people were injured in the blast. Russ Dillingham / Journal of the Sun

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