Yesterday, more than a dozen injured after a series of large explosions rocked neighborhoods near Boston. The towns of Lawrence, North Andover, and surrounding communities about 30 miles north of central Boston saw dozens of homes engulfed in flames. Eventually, police just advised anyone with gas service in the towns of Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover to evacuate immediately if they hadn’t already done so.
Sadly, there was also one death. “Leonel Rondon, 18, from Lawrence, was killed when an explosion caused a chimney to collapse on his car, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office. He was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital but died of his injuries around 8:30 pm.”1
The cause of the fires is still under investigation but Andover Town Manager Andrew Flanagan told CNN, “…it’s our understanding that it has to do with gas pressure.” 2
Gov. Charlie Baker offered his condolences on Twitter.
This has been an incredibly difficult day for everyone. I ask everyone to think of the family of Leonel Rondon who lost a loved one today, and to pray for everyone who has been injured.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) September 14, 2018
As Andover and other communities worked with Columbia Gas to determine the cause of the explosions last night, electricity was shut off across the area as a precaution and gas lines in the area were depressurized.
Local media reported that on Thursday night, resources were spread thin; some houses were burning without crews being able to respond.