Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Dozens Of Homes, Buildings Explode, Catch Fire In Three Massachusetts' Towns

Dozens Of Homes, Buildings Explode, Catch Fire In Three Massachusetts' Towns

Investigators worked Friday to pinpoint the cause of a series of dramatic natural gas explosions that killed a teenager who had just gotten his driver's license and was sitting in his vehicle, injured at least 25 others and left dozens of homes in smouldering ruins.

At least 10 other people were injured as explosions and fires affected almost 40 homes and businesses in the state, CNN reported. "I could see pillars of smoke in front of me from the town of Andover".

The cause wasn't immediately clear.

Neighborhoods were evacuated in northern Massachusetts Thursday following a series of explosions and fires apparently caused by a faulty gas line. "We've got lots of donuts and it's about these poor people, it's not about us or the business, it's making sure they get what they need".

Boston: A man was killed while several others were injured after a series of explosions and fires rocked around 40 homes and businesses in three towns in MA on Thursday, according to the Essex County District Attorney's office.

Andover Fire-Rescue sent a 10-alarm response, the highest level. At peak, 18 fires were burning at the same time.

"There are multiple basement fires in Andover".

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Frank Lupa, a 79-year-old retiree in Lawrence, spent the night in a middle school along with other dislodged residents, and said he prayed as chaos descended on his neighbourhood.

Nam says he ran downstairs and saw that his boiler was on fire.

Fire crews from around MA and Southern New Hampshire worked together Thursday to extinguish the dozens of fires that broke out throughout the afternoon and evening.

Entire neighbourhoods were being evacuated in Lawrence. Nam said a woman and two kids had made it out of the house but the basement was on fire.

Authorities were to cut power to thousands of meters, police said, and residents in all three towns with utilities service from Columbia Gas had been asked to evacuate immediately.

At least four people are being treated for injuries after a series of fires north of Boston that authorities blame on a natural gas issue.

Emergency crews fought dozens of fires Thursday night, but they are all now extinguished, said Kurt Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. State officials said Columbia Gas was working to ease pressure on gas lines following the fires.

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- A 2011 natural gas explosion killed five people in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and that state's largest gas utility was fined by regulators, who called the company's safety record "downright alarming". The town of 35,000 residents is about 26 miles (40 kilometers) north of Boston near the New Hampshire border.

Local police chief says 20-25 homes on fire in community near Boston. Before the explosions, Columbia Gas had said it would be upgrading gas lines in neighbourhoods across the state, including the affected suburbs. It was not clear whether work was happening there Thursday, and a spokeswoman did not return calls.

State Police say they have confirmed fires at 39 locations but warn the number will grow.

Around the same time, State Police said electricity was being shut off for all residents in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover, where some were still reporting an odour tied to natural gas.

"If you want to know what to do to help folks, in Lawrence go to the senior center", Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said.

The Eagle-Tribune newspaper in North Andover reports at least one home has been destroyed and several others have caught fire amid a problem with a gas line that feeds homes in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence.

Live TV images showed firefighters battling blazes in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, around 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of the USA city.

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