Boston-area explosions have MA governor declaring state of emergency

Massachusetts fire

Nearly 40 fires and explosions erupt in Massachusetts

Leonel Rondon, 18, was inside a auto in Lawrence, Massachusetts, when a chimney fell on the vehicle, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman with the Essex County District Attorney's office said.

Leonel Rondon, of Lawrence, was pronounced dead Thursday night at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, according to the Essex District Attorney's Office.

"Our mission is to find out what happened, so that we can learn from it and keep it from happening again", he said.

As lunchtime rolled around at North Andover High School, where the field house with basketball hoops and sports team banners was turned into an overnight shelter with food, water and cots, about 16 people remained, snacking on pizza delivered by the Salvation Army.

Gov. Charlie Baker said, "The depressurization of the lines in the shutdown was created to ensure that there would be no more fires this evening", although he added firefighters will continue to extinguish fires throughout the night.

On Friday, Baker declared a state of emergency for Merrimack Valley - where the three towns are located.

Baker authorized the utility Eversource to take management control over the effort to restore services. "We are focused on providing as much support as possible to our customers, residents and communities", the utility said in a statement. All three towns were listed as areas where neighborhood lines would be replaced, the utility said on its website Thursday.

The state police said gas lines are now being depressurized by the company but warned that may take some time.

MA has seen more than $20 million in damages caused by gas pipeline incidents in the last 20 years, according to federal data. A spokeswoman for the company did not immediately return calls.

Entire neighborhoods were being evacuated in Lawrence. "I don't know what's going to happen Monday".

In Lawrence, Massachusetts, a boiler inside Ra Nam's house caught fire, he told CNN affiliate WCVB. Lawrence, the largest of them, is a majority Latino city with a population of about 80,000.

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"Do not be afraid". Stay in the light.

"Lawrence is a very resilient community". All fires were put out overnight, state officials said. But Rivera criticized the gas utility for poor communications and accused the company of "hiding from the problem".

Twenty to 25 homes were on fire in Lawrence, said Joseph Solomon, the police chief in nearby Methuen.

At least three people, including one firefighter, were hurt in Andover, the town said in a statement.

Aerial footage showed houses in smoldering ruins.

Brenda Charest stood anxiously on her front porch while a crew checked her undamaged home before giving her the all-clear to return Friday. CBS Boston station WBZ reports emergency crews have responded to dozens of different addresses and extensive damage could be seen at a number of homes.

Kathleen Doyle, of Hampstead said her family lived in MA years ago and she still has many friends in the area.

The National Transportation Safety Board said that the West Virginia rupture likely could have been prevented if the pipeline had been inspected or tested, but that it hadn't been since 1988.

The flight crew alerted the Lawrence Fire Department of the gas leak, and firefighters were able to confirm the presence of the leak underground and manage it accordingly, police said. The November 2012 blast leveled the Scores Gentleman's Club, injuring about 20 people and damaging dozens of other buildings. "This is the sort of thing a gas distribution company hopes to never have".

Firefighters are at the scene extinguishing a gas explosion in the US.

At least four people are being treated for injuries after a series of fires north of Boston that authorities blame on a natural gas issue.

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