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Dozens Of Fires, Explosions Break Out In Massachusetts Towns

Dozens Of Fires, Explosions Break Out In Massachusetts Towns

As the sun rose Friday, residents looked over damaged homes that were either blasted by explosions or consumed by flames.

AN 18-YEAR-old man was killed and at least 12 others injured after a gas explosion sparked 70 blasts causing homes to go up in flames in MA last night.

Epping Fire Chief Don DeAngelis said his firefighters were asked to respond to a school in North Andover where they would be staged, along with Brentwood fire crews.

Merrimack College, a private Catholic school in North Andover, instructed its staff and students to evacuate "immediately".

Neighborhoods were evacuated in northern Massachusetts Thursday following a series of explosions and fires apparently caused by a faulty gas line.

Electricity is being cut to residents in all three communities as crews work to prevent further damage. "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".

The three communities house more than 146,000 residents about 40 kilometres north of Boston, near the New Hampshire border.

It is unclear whether the people wounded in Andover are part of the group receiving care at Lawrence General Hospital.

Andover had struck a 10-alarm response, the maximum, and it deployed 50 fire vehicles and 10 ambulances.

In Lawrence, a man whose neighbourhood was among dozens that erupted in fire says he ran into his basement to find that the room was glowing.

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

Thousands of residents were forced from their homes and into the street as city officials implored residents to evacuate the area immediately. Nam said a woman and two kids had made it out of the house but the basement was on fire.

Massachusetts State Police say officials will be shutting off power to all residents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

At least 10 people, including a firefighter, were injured by the fires, according to the Associated Press. Andover officials told NGI that 35 fires in their town had been extinguished by 8:30 p.m. Thursday. "We urge residents if they are smelling gas to get out of the house and contact 911".

The utility said it was "working with the appropriate authorities to investigate this incident in order to understand its cause".

Police said they were dealing with explosions or fires in 39 locations. State officials told residents who have gas service from Columbia Gas of MA to evacuate their homes immediately and said gas lines were being depressurized by the company.

Columbia Gas earlier Thursday put out a news release saying it was upgrading natural gas lines in neighborhoods across the state, with a focus on enhanced safety features. It was not clear whether work was happening there, and a spokeswoman did not return calls.

Residents in three communities north of Boston are being told to evacuate their homes after multiple explosions and fires in the area.

"You can't even see the sky", Solomon said.

Those driven from their homes "should expect that the restoration process will take several days or longer", Andrew Maylor, the town manager of North Andover, said on Twitter.

Management for the American Gas Association (AGA), which represents more than 200 companies that deliver gas throughout the United States, said, "Our hearts go out to those who are suffering and have lost loved ones and homes as a result of the tragic incidents in MA".

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


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