Gas Explosions Set Dozens Of Homes Ablaze In Multiple Boston-Area Communities

A closer-up look at a map tweeted out by Mass. State Police inadvertently revealing bookmarks on the browser

Was anyone injured in the house explosions near Boston?

Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday declared a state of emergency for the Merrimack Valley, where at least three explosions and as many as 80 fires had been reported as of late Thursday night, including the cities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, whose residents were forced to evacuate.

Teams of firefighters, police, and gas company workers were out in force overnight, shutting off gas to the 8,000 impacted homes. "We don't know today how long this will take".

"Mr. Rondon was inside a vehicle near 35 Chickering Rd in Lawrence when a chimney from a house explosion fell on the auto", the district attorney's office said. He was rushed to a Boston hospital but pronounced dead Thursday evening.

The company that owns Columbia Gas said its crews are performing safety checks after a series of fires and explosions erupted in three communities north of Boston, but did not explain what went wrong.

"Cases range from smoke inhalation to traumatic blast injuries", the hospital said, adding that one patient had been taken to another hospital. "So we're going to keep looking and try to find federal dollars to help Lawrence, to help homeowners, to help Andover, but it's - I just have to be blunt - it's just not clear that there are programs that can help", Warren said.

People cover their faces to protect themselves from heavy smoke.

Authorities are scrambling to shut down gas supply to stop further explosions.

"We expect this will be an extended restoration effort, and we will work tirelessly to restore service to the affected customers", the statement said.

State police put the tally of fires and explosions at 70, up from the 39 initially reported.

The Columbia Gas company had announced early on Thursday that it would be upgrading gas lines in neighbourhoods across the state, including the area where the explosions happened. It was not clear whether work was happening there Thursday, and a spokeswoman did not immediately return calls.

A middle school in North Andover and a senior center in Andover were set up for evacuees, according to the agency.

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

Massachusetts State Police say troopers have been dispatched to the areas as panicked residents attempt to flee their neighbourhoods amid the afternoon rush hour. "It's total destruction. I'd be completely devastated".

"The follow-through just wasn't there", Baker said.

In neighbouring North Andover, town Selectman Phil Decologero said that his entire neighbourhood had gathered in the street, afraid to enter homes.

"There are multiple basement fires in Andover".

Nam says he ran downstairs and saw that his boiler was on fire. Nam said a woman and two kids had made it out of the house but the basement was on fire.

A house burns in Lawrence, Mass., Sept. 13, 2018.

Live TV pictures show firefighters tackling blazes engulfing a number of houses. Solomon, who's in Lawrence, says there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky".

Another victim was critically hurt in the fires, which broke out across three suburbs north of Boston.

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.

Flames rise from a house after a series of gas explosions in the city.

Ten people were confirmed injured. 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.

The danger, at this point, is mainly from any pent-up gas that leaked and remains in homes.

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