Massachusetts gas explosions
© AP
Firefighters battle a house fire, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, on Herrick Road in North Andover, Mass., one of multiple emergency crews responding to a series of gas explosions and fires triggered by a problem with a gas line that feeds homes in several
One person died and about a dozen others were injured in Massachusetts on Thursday as a series of gas-related fires and explosions tore through several communities, authorities said.

Eighteen-year-old Leonel Rondon was killed and at least 12 others were injured in Northern Massachusetts as fires and explosions tore the area, damaging at least two dozen homes and businesses, according to local authorities.

Rondon, a resident of Lawrence, was killed after one of the explosions sent a chimney crashing onto his car, Massachusetts State Police said.



Comment: Fire Rescue Chief Michael B. Mansfield described the situation as being borderline apocalyptic, stating:
"I have been in the fire service for almost 39 years and I have never seen anything like this in my entire career. It looked like Armageddon... There were billows of smoke coming from Lawrence behind me. I could see plumes of smoke in front of me.... It just looked like an absolute war zone."



Massachusetts gas explosions
"Our city has had a rough day today," the city of Lawrence said in a statement early Friday morning. "We grieve for the loss ... and continue to support first responders."

The Massachusetts State Police Watch Center said it responded to explosions, fires and other gas-related reports at least 70 different addresses. The state's governor said about 8,000 homes were affected.

Three victims in Andover included included a firefighter and two civilians, authorities said.
Massachusetts gas explosions
Evacuations were taking place in multiple neighborhoods where residents smelled gas, according to state police. Those who live south of the Merrimack River were told to evacuate, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said at a press conference Thursday night.

Authorities also warned residents in the area who are served by Columbia Gas to "evacuate their homes immediately" as gas lines are being depressurized by the company.

Aerial footage taken by ABC Boston affiliate WCVB showed firefighters battling flames in a residential neighborhood that sent thick plumes of smoke into the air.


Residents in Andover were evacuated to a local senior center, while residents in North Andover were directed to a nearby middle school.