One dead after multiple gas explosions in northern Massachusetts

    Our media partners at WBZ are reporting multiple suspected gas explosions and fires in Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover. (Malini Basu)

    LAWRENCE, MA (WGME) – The company that owns Columbia Gas says its crews are performing safety checks, but have not explained what went wrong after house explosions in northern Massachusetts.

    According to WBZ, an 18-year-old man was killed in Lawrence, after a chimney fell on his car from a house explosion.

    Andover’s fire chief says they raised their alerts to a 10-alarm fire.

    For the residents of this area, they say they’ve never seen anything like this.

    Neighbors on Herrick Road could only watch as fire crews from around the area put out the latest gas-related fire.

    "It's heartbreaking to see the daughter upset, they don't know if their pets are alive, it's real world, they just lost everything right in front of you," Robert Penney said.

    Penney lives two houses down, and says he was home when a house caught fire.

    "It's like something out of a movie, you know you can't make this stuff up," Penney said. "I actually could smell like a rubber burning, almost like an electrical rubbery smell."

    As the fire crews packed up to head to the next location, the street remains in darkness.

    Neighbors say the scariest part was not knowing who is next.

    “It's very scary,” Penney said. “Because you don't know why one house went up and yours didn't, so it will be interesting to see what comes from this."

    North Andover’s superintendent says that school is cancelled Friday.

    Massachusetts State Police say anyone in South Lawrence has been asked to evacuate their homes.

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