Series of explosions ignites more than 70 homes in Massachusetts

MERRIMACK VALLEY, Mass. - A series of gas explosions Thursday caused fires at more than 70 homes in the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts.

Neighborhoods across three communities were forced to evacuate as crews attempted to douse the flames and shut off gas and electric lines to prevent further damage.

WBTS reports the fires come from an issue with a gas line that feeds homes in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence.

Andover officials said they extinguished all 35 fires in their town after authorities struck a 10-alarm response, its maximum traditional fire response. More than 50 fire vehicles and 10 ambulances responded.

Joseph Solomon, the police chief in nearby Methuen, said 20 to 25 homes were on fire in Lawrence. Solomon, who responded to Lawrence to help, said there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky."

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