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Thousands Fled Homes After Apparent Gas Explosions, Fires In Massachusetts


Firefighters battle a house fire, in North Andover, Mass., one of a series of gas explosions and fires triggered Thursday by a problem with a gas line that feeds several communities north of Boston.

Firefighters battle a house fire, in North Andover, Mass., one of a series of gas explosions and fires triggered Thursday by a problem with a gas line that feeds several communities north of Boston.

AP, Mary Schwalm

Massachusetts State Police have confirmed 39 house fires or explosions, possibly caused by gas leaks have erupted around the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, on Thursday evening, warning that the “number will grow.”

Officials urged all residents in the area who are Columbia Gas customers to evacuate, “as should anyone else who smells gas.”

Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon told USA Today there are so many fires, “you can’t even see the sky.”

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

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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