Gas Explosions, Fires Reported In Boston Suburbs

15 September, 2018, 01:01 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Nearly 40 fires and explosions erupt in Massachusetts

A house burns in Lawrence, Mass., Sept. 13, 2018. Once the regulatory agencies release their findings, "and we better understand the root cause of the incident, AGA is prepared to work with our members, state and federal pipeline safety regulators and other interested stakeholders to take additional actions to preserve the safety of the natural gas delivery system and the communities we serve".

At the peak of the situation, they say 18 fires were burning at the same time in Andover. The flight crew then advised the Lawrence Fire Department, and firefighters "responded and discovered a major gas leak under the pavement".

Merrimack College in North Andover and the Merrimack Valley YMCA of Andover/North Andover were evacuated by 6 p.m., as was Phillips Academy, Andover.

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, he said, serves a residential/commercial (res/com) load "in a fairly small area around Lawrence, MA".

He said a woman and two kids had made it out of the house but the basement was on fire. About 25 people, including two firefighters, were wounded, officials said.

"This is so awful", she said, as she stood by with her husband, both crying.

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The explosions - just days after the eight-year anniversary of a deadly blast on a PG&E Corp. gas transmission line in San Bruno, California - may intensify the growing opposition across New England to using gas to heat homes and produce electricity. Safety is at the very core of the work we do as an industry and natural gas utilities work tirelessly to help ensure the safety of their customers, communities and employees. Six people were being treated at Lawrence General Hospital, spokeswoman Jill McDonald Halsey said. He mentioned difficulties such as getting into people's homes. At least one fire hydrant on Waverly road did not appear to be working.

These are gas-related fires.

All Columbia Gas customers in South Lawrence, Andover and North Andover were told to evacuate their homes.

When asked if he could describe how he was feeling, Gibbs answered simply: "No".

"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.

Police say explosions and fires erupted in a cluster of towns just north of Boston, including Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and Methuen.

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"There are multiple basement fires in Andover".

A number of evacuation centres were set up for residents at local schools, which officials said would remain closed on Friday.

CBS Boston reports that residents received automated emergency phone calls urging them to leave their homes. "We're going to get through this together".

The area is served by the Columbia Gas of MA unit of NiSource, whose shares fell 11.7 percent to close at $24.79 on Friday.

Later Thursday night, Columbia Gas issued a statement asking people not to turn off their own gas, and not to open windows to ventilate. Chief Mansfield also requested an ambulance task force, sending 10 ambulances to Andover. That directed 20 fire engines and 10 fire ladder trucks to the Town of Andover plus the town's entire fire department.

"Our thoughts are with the community and everyone impacted by yesterday's tragic incident". Red Cross reception centers were setup at the Andover Senior Center and Youth Center, North Andover High School, as well as Parthum and Arlington Schools in Lawrence.

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She has an obligation especially to treat our father with kindness". I don't like the one I'm seeing now. The mess is someone else's s**t.

North Andover police drove through the downtown area to warn residents to evacuate their homes if they smelled gas and diverted officers to Lawrence to assist.

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