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Teenager dead as gas line explosions spark dozens of fires in Boston

Teenager dead as gas line explosions spark dozens of fires in Boston

An 18-year-old man was in a auto in Lawrence in a driveway when a house exploded, the chimney landed on the vehicle and the victim was pronounced dead. Police were out overnight and again Friday morning patrolling neighborhoods to look for looters and any other activity related to the evacuations and explosions.

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

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. Andover, North Andover and Lawrence were included in the planned projects.

Neighborhoods were evacuated in northern Massachusetts Thursday following a series of explosions and fires apparently caused by a faulty gas line. At least 18 fires were burning at the same time.

It was not immediately clear whether there were any injuries.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency blamed the fires on gas lines that had become over-pressurised but said investigators were still examining what happened.

As many families seek refuge in temporary shelters, officials are warning that it could be at least another day until they're allowed to return home. "One patient has been transported to another hospital", the Lawrence hospital said in a Facebook post. Schools are closed Friday in Lawrence and Andover.

The streets were darkened where authorities had cut off electricity and were shutting down gas service in an effort to stop further blazes.

A total of 8,000 homes must be inspected one at a time for problems with their natural gas systems before normal activities can resume in the homes, officials said.

That occurred when a Columbia Gas technician called to investigate a gas odor at a nightclub accidentally punctured a line, the state Department of Public Utilities said in a report.

- A buildup of natural gas triggered an explosion and fire that killed seven people in apartments in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 2016. Solomon, who responded to Lawrence to help, said there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky". "What we need folks to do is that if it's happening in your home, you have a amusing smell, just evacuate, come out to the street", he said.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement he was "actively monitoring the situation", urging "residents to heed instructions from local officials".

State and local officials said at a news conference minutes earlier that they had still not heard from Columbia Gas following the fires in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

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.

North Andover resident Laurie Williams, 55, said she drove home from work to find police and fire vehicles blocking streets near her home, and learned that three buildings nearby were on fire.

Residents of all three towns who use Columbia Gas were told to leave their houses immediately as was anyone else who smelt gas.