A series of gas explosions caused dramatic fires and billowing smoke in Lawrence and Andover on Thursday afternoon. Emergency workers hurried to evacuate residents from Andover as the fires, thought to be caused by a gas main explosion in Lawrence, spread. As of early Thursday evening, firefighters reported that they were fighting around 50 fires in the Lawrence-Andover area; officials estimated that there were 25 to 30 fires in Andover and at least 18 active fires in Lawrence.
Authorities in Andover ordered residents to shut off their gas, and officials across the area instructed people to leave their homes if they smelled any gas. Massachusetts State police said they were evacuating residents from any neighborhood where there was a gas odor; police added that it is too soon to determine the cause of the fire. News reports said the fires and explosions were due to a high pressure gas main.
There are no details available about injuries, but the mayor of Lawrence has confirmed that some people have been transported to the hospital already.
You can watch a livestream of the dramatic, horrific fires right here on YouTube:
You can also watch WSVN’s livestream of the fires on Periscope, here.
You can watch the fires in Lawrence in this video:
Video here (via snapchat) shows residents evacuating and responding to the fires:
Here’s another video, showing an explosion on Market Street in Lawrence:
Here are the evacuation orders and locations for Andover residents:
You can see a burning home in North Andover, here:
You can also see the fires’ locations on this map: