"LAWRENCE -- A series of gas explosions one official described as "Armageddon" left at least 10 people injured and ignited fires in at least 39 homes in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover Thursday, forcing entire neighborhoods to evacuate and drawing first responders from as far away as Boston and Manchester, N.H., as crews scrambled to fight fires and turn off gas and electric lines to prevent further damage.
Firefighters, police and EMTs from across the region rushed to Lawrence, Andover and North Andover around 4:30 p.m. as the blazes at times consumed homes as no firefighters from those towns were able to respond since they were already overwhelmed by other fires.
'It looked like Armageddon, it really did,' Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield told reporters. 'There were billows of smoke coming from Lawrence behind me. I could see pillars of smoke in front of me from the town of Andover.'"