As reported by news outlets across the US, a series of gas explosions in and around Lawrence and North Andover, Massachusetts have led to more than 70 fires burning in at least 20 homes. Stories in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle detail a wide swath of residential infernos, with at least 23 people injured and scores of others directed to swiftly evacuate their homes. Officials are also cutting electric power to affected areas to prevent stray sparks from igniting additional fires.
Fire departments have ordered civilian access to areas of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover. Speculation is rife as to the cause of the explosions and fires, which can occur when low pressure residential gas service lines become over-pressurized. Fire investigators were focusing on whether gas lines were overpressurized, according to the state fire marshal’s office. Police in nearby Methuen said there were so many fires “you can’t even see the sky.”
There are also reports that a gas company was performing construction on the area gas pipeline when the explosions first occurred. According to the Boston Globe, when asked if the gas company had been responsive to the state, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker paused for a moment at the news conference, then said, “I would say their response so far has been adequate.”
Our Hearts Go Out To Everyone On The Scene
Our hearts go out to the families, businesses, firefighters, and other emergency personnel in the Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence areas, especially those directly affected by this tragedy. We know from our experience with similar cases that even after residents reach safety, tensions can remain extremely high and much of the damage, strain, and other effects can take days to emerge.
National Fire and Injury Lawyers at Lieff Cabraser
Lieff Cabraser represents victims of fire, gas leaks and explosions, and other natural and environmental disasters in cases ranging from the 2017 North San Francisco Bay Fires, the 2017-2018 Southern California Fires and Mudslides, and the massive 2015-2016 Porter Ranch (Los Angeles Area) gas leak, to the BP Gulf of Mexico rig explosions and oil spill.