A Lawrence teen was killed today after a chimney from a house explosion fell on the car he was in during a series of about 70 explosions and fires in the city and in nearby Andover and North Andover this afternoon that has kept emergency crews working late into the night.
Leonel Rondon, 18, was pronounced dead at Mass General Hospital at approximately 8:30 this evening, officials announced. He was inside a car near 35 Chickering Road in Lawrence, the scene of some of the worst blazes.
Emergency officials, meanwhile, are urging people to get out of their houses and evacuate their neighborhoods in the three communities as firefighters battle dozens of gas explosions that leveled some houses and set fire to others over a large area.
Police are on patrol in Lawrence tonight after power was cut off until officials can determine if the city is safe.
"If you smell gas, you gotta get out of your home," Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera told reporters.
State police said any residents of the area with Columbia Gas service to their house should "evacuate immediately." State police are reporing 70 fires and gas explosions were reported today.