Minutes later, he mentioned he heard a loud booming sound from his neighbor’s home. Three folks rushed out.
About 25 folks, together with two firefighters, have been wounded, officers mentioned.
“This has been an awesome occasion,” Andover Fireplace Rescue Chief Michael B. Mansfield informed reporters. “I’ve been within the hearth service for nearly 39 years and I’ve by no means seen something like this in my complete profession. … It seemed like Armageddon, it actually did.”
The blazes left 8,000 folks unable to go house on Thursday. A center college in North Andover and a senior heart in Andover have been arrange for evacuees, in accordance with the state police.
Colleges might be closed Friday in Lawrence and Andove. All state workplaces in all three cities might be additionally closed, and nonemergency workers have been requested to remain house.
Hundreds cannot go house
Details about the complete extent of the harm was not instantly out there Thursday night, and authorities cautioned that it was “far too early to take a position” on the reason for the explosions.
Earlier on Thursday, earlier than the fires broke out, the utility firm that providers the realm introduced it will be upgrading pure fuel traces in neighborhoods throughout the state.
“Climate allowing, work will happen Monday by way of Friday,” Columbia Gasoline mentioned in a press release. Andover, North Andover and Lawrence have been included within the deliberate initiatives.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker mentioned he urged Columbia Gasoline to develop a “complete security inspection plan.”
“We’ll work with the federal authorities and others to analyze how this occurred and maintain the suitable events accountable for his or her actions,” Baker mentioned.
Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera mentioned residents will not be allowed to return house till crews examine each house and ensure there are not any extra fuel leaks.
“We’re not certain that is going to be anytime quickly. Make plans for no less than between now and this time tomorrow,” Rivera mentioned early on Friday.
The explosions and emergency response brought about Amtrak to cancel 4 practice routes between Boston and Maine. Passengers on three have been being moved by bus.
The Nationwide Transportation Security Board will ship a crew to the realm on Friday.
Gasoline, energy shut off
Gasoline technicians and first responders have been going door-to-door reviewing hundreds of properties in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover and shutting down fuel mains as residents wait in shelters.
Officers have been additionally shutting down energy within the three cities, state police mentioned on Thursday night. About 18,000 prospects have been with out energy.
In a press release launched Thursday night time, Columbia Gasoline mentioned solely that crews have been responding to a number of fires within the space.
It additionally mentioned its ideas are “with everybody affected by at present’s incident.”
Gasoline service had been interrupted for 250 prospects in Lawrence final month resulting from a “hit line by a 3rd social gathering,” in accordance with Columbia Gasoline.
CNN’s Rob Frehse contributed to this report.