Gas explosions set homes north of Boston on fire

Teenager killed as 'gas explosions' set homes ablaze

Nearly 40 fires and explosions erupt in Massachusetts

Another Lawrence resident, Bruce Razin, said the house two doors down from where he lived had been levelled from an explosion. The club owner and the gas company eventually settled the case. "It was scary. We didn't know anything".

The man killed in Lawrence, named as Leonel Robson, died in hospital after a chimney fell on his vehicle, the authorities said. Most were still waiting, shaken and exhausted, to be allowed to return to their homes.

Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield told reporters the explosions "looked like Armageddon, it really did", according to the Associated Press. Four people, including one firefighter, are said to have sustained minor injuries in Andover.

People cover their faces to protect themselves from heavy smoke. "Joint investigation will be conducted when situation is stabilised".

Authorities are scrambling to shut down gas supply to stop further explosions. Gov. Charlie Baker said 8,000 customers' power was affected. ALL FIRES HAVE BEEN EXTINGUISHED, however fire crews will remain in Andover throughout the evening.

Columbia had announced earlier on Thursday (Friday NZT) 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 at the time, and a spokeswoman did not immediately comment.

Gas explosions have claimed lives and destroyed property around the USA in recent years.

"We took off. I said, 'Pack up, we're out of here,"' said Charest, who went with her 93-year old father and cat to a relative's home. "It's total destruction. I'd be completely devastated".

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

Massachusetts State Police said on Twitter that 70 fires, explosions or reports of gas odors had been reported to authorities.

A man whose neighborhood was among dozens that erupted in fire in communities north of Boston says he ran into his basement to find that the room was glowing.

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

When he ran downstairs and saw the boiler on fire, he quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher and put it out.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera says the issue appears to be in the southeast part of the city.

At least 10 other people were injured as explosions and fires affected almost 40 homes and businesses in the state, CNN reported.

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

Aerial footage showed firefighters tackling blazes at several properties.

Police Chief Joseph Solomon in nearby Methuen says there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky".

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

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

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

In addition, close to 50 field personnel who work in gas operations for New York's Consolidated Edison Inc. and Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc. were on their way Friday to assist with turning off the gas meters, a step necessary before gas could be restored to pipelines serving the affected neighborhoods. 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 gas leak had been reported before that blast.

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