September 13, 2018 - 6:25 PM EDT
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Dozens of house fires burn in Massachusetts after gas line issue

Sept. 13 (UPI) --

Emergency crews in Massachusetts responded to dozens of residence fires after reports of issues with the natural gas system.

Fire Chief Michael Mansfield said 25 to 30 active fires were in progress in Andover, and in Lawrence, officials said at least 18 fires were underway in the area, Massachusetts' Eagle Tribune newspaper reported.

There are multiple basement fires in Andover. It's some kind of gas issue, Andover Police Department spokesman Lt. Edward Guy said. We urge residents if they are smelling gas to get out of the house and contact 911. We will get units out there.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said the issue appeared to be in the southeast part of the city and urged residents to quickly leave their homes if they smell gas.

What we know is that there have been multiple explosions, multiple fires that are happening across the city, Rivera said. What we need folks to do is that if it's happening in your home, you have a funny smell, just evacuate, come out to the street.

The North Andover area is covered by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, but its electric provider National Grid said electric crews were responding to assist.

North Andover police drove through the downtown area to warn residents to evacuate their homes if they smelled gas and diverted officers to Lawrence to assist.

Source: United Press International (September 13, 2018 - 6:25 PM EDT)

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