Suspected Gas Explosion Ignites Homes North of Boston

At least 20 homes in three towns north of Boston were on fire Thursday evening after a suspected gas explosion.

Fire officials say there was so much smoke and flames that they could not see the sky above the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

No casualties have been reported, but at least three people have been injured. Hundreds of panicked residents have fled their homes, causing large traffic jams during the busy rush hour.

An official of North Andover called the situation “scary” and advised people to turn off the gas in their homes if they can and leave.

The local gas company said they are decreasing the pressure in the lines, saying it would take “some time” to cut off all service.

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