At Least One Dead In Multiple Fires, Gas Explosions In Massachusetts
Multiple fires and explosions were reported in three communities north of Boston due to a high-pressure gas main that over-pressurized.
Police state that at least one person has died. The victim was identified as Leonel Robson, 18, of Lawrence. Robson was in a car in Lawrence when a chimney from a house explosion fell on the car and killed him.
Lawrence General Hospital said they had received 13 patients, including one in critical condition who was transferred to the Boston Trauma Center. The other 12 were stable.
At the peak, officials say at least 18 fires were burning at the same time.
“It looked like Armageddon, it really did,” Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield told reporters. “There were billows of smoke coming from Lawrence behind me. I could see pillars of smoke in front of me from the town of Andover.”
Massachusetts State Police say gas lines are currently being depressurized by the company. Power has also been shut off in the three communities as a precaution.
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said in a press conference that 12-14 homes were directly affected, with many homes either burning or exploding.
State Police have urged all residents with homes serviced by Columbia Gas in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover to evacuate immediately.