39 locations of fires, explosions after suspected gas leak in Massachusetts

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Firefighters in Massachusetts are battling dozens of fires believed to have been caused by gas explosions.

The Massachusetts State Police Watch Center has responded to 39 different addresses spread across dozens of block in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover — in Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley, the department wrote on Twitter.

Evacuations are taking place in multiple neighborhoods where residents have smelled gas, according to state police.

Authorities also warned residents in the area who are served by Columbia Gas to “evacuate their homes immediately,” as gas lines are currently being depressurized by the company.

Aerial footage taken by ABC Boston affiliate WCVB-TV showed firefighters battling flames in a residential neighborhood that sent thick plumes of smoke into the air.

Residents in Andover were evacuated to a local senior center, while residents in North Andover were directed to a nearby middle school.

The Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s Office told WCVB-TV that it sent investigators to the area to respond to a high-pressure gas line issue affecting homes nearby.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera told WCVB-TV that the incidents are believed to have stemmed from a rise in gas pressure.

Additional information was not immediately available.

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