Almost 40 fires and explosions erupt in MA

Almost 40 fires and explosions erupt in MA”

Was anyone injured in the house explosions near Boston?

A series of gas explosions Thursday caused fires at more than 70 homes in the Merrimack Valley region of MA.

If you have shut off the gas meter on your own, do not attempt to turn service back on, but rather wait for additional instructions. "We know that all those fires at this point are out". He was rushed to a Boston hospital but pronounced dead Thursday evening.

Thousands of residents were forced to flee their homes as crews scrambled to douse the flames and shut off gas and electric lines to prevent any further damage.

More than 85,000 homes in the state are without power.

Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield described the harrowing scene as, "Armageddon".

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.

Two people, including a firefighter, sustained non-life-threatening injuries, said town spokesman John Guilfoil.

People cover their faces to protect themselves from heavy smoke.

He said: "It's definitely a scary situation at the moment".

The state Registry of Motor Vehicles said Rondon had been issued his driver's license earlier Thursday.

Officials seen at the command center Friday morning included Schwartz, Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Sen.

The Columbia Gas company, a unit of NiSource Inc, had said earlier Thursday that it would be upgrading gas lines in neighborhoods across the state, including the area where the explosions occurred, but it was not immediately clear whether any work was being done in those communities.

Lawrence, Andover and North Andover were included Thursday morning in an alert from Columbia Gas of MA telling customers on its website that it was "upgrading natural gas lines in neighborhoods" across the state.

It is not clear whether maintenance work was happening at the time of the blasts.

The Red Cross has four centers: Parthum Elementary School in Lawrence, Arlington School in Lawrence, Field House at North Andover High School, and Andover Cormier Youth Center. "My first thought was this is a gas explosion".

The streets were darkened after nightfall with power cut off to the area as a precaution.

The explosions - just days after the eight-year anniversary of a deadly blast on a PG&E Corp. gas transmission line in San Bruno, California - may intensify the growing opposition across New England to using gas to heat homes and produce electricity. "It's total destruction. I'd be completely devastated".

With a backpack filled with personal items he had hastily grabbed, he said he'd head to his mother's home a few towns over for the night.

Massachusetts State Police released a statement saying: "Incidents are across a wide swath of dozens of blocks across Lawrence and North Andover".

"There are multiple basement fires in Andover".

Ra Nam, a Lawrence resident, said he was in his yard when the smoke detector in his basement went off about 4:30pm.

He ran downstairs and discovered his boiler on fire - and minutes later, he heard a loud boom from his neighbour's house, causing the ground to shake. Lawrence City Councilor Marc Laplante said entire neighborhoods were being evacuated in the Colonial Heights area, which he represents.

One person is reportedly in a critical condition, and two of the victims are believed to be firefighters.

In this image take from video provided by WCVB in Boston, flames consume a home in Lawrence, Mass, a suburb of Boston, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.

Aerial footage showed firefighters tackling blazes at several properties.

Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon told The Associated Press that up to 25 homes were on fire in the city of Lawrence alone.

In the same news conference, Rivera blasted Columbia Gas for wasting time and not communicating to officials what caused the explosions and fires.

Warren and Seaman said the last time they responded to MA for a major blaze was the Malden Mills factory fire in Lawrence in 1995.

Massachusetts State Police said that the services responded to at least 70 cases of gas odour, explosions, and fires. Consolidated Edison later agreed to pay $153 million to settle charges after the state's Public Service Commission found Con Ed violated state safety regulations. A spokeswoman for the company did not immediately return calls.

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