Police say at least 6 injured in series of fires, explosions near Boston

LAWRENCE, Mass. — Officials say at least six people have been injured in a series of fires and explosions north of Boston that authorities blame on over-pressurized natural gas lines.

Lawrence General Hospital says it's treating six patients from the gas explosions including two in critical condition.

Officials in Andover previously said at least three people, including a firefighter, had been injured in the town. It was not immediately clear if those were separate from the victims treated at Lawrence General.

State Police say at least 39 fires erupted Thursday afternoon in the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. The three communities house more than 146,000 residents and are located about 26 miles (42 kilometers) north of Boston.

Authorities in Massachusetts say a natural gas issue is to blame for the at least 39 fires that erupted.

Electricity is being cut to residents in all three communities as crews work to prevent further damage.

Massachusetts State Police say Columbia Gas is working to depressurize gas lines in the area. State Police say they have confirmed fires at 39 locations but warn the number will grow.

Police Chief Joseph Solomon in nearby Methuen says there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky."

Continuing coverage.