Gas explosions, fires reported in Massachusetts cities

Multiple suspected gas explosions have set structures on fire across dozens of blocks and forced evacuations in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, Massachusetts State Police said Thursday.

A middle school in North Andover and residents of a senior center in Andover have been evacuated, according to the agency.

State police confirmed responding to 17 addresses for fire, explosion or investigation.

“Incidents are across a wide swath of dozens of blocks across Lawrence and North Andover,” the state police said via Twitter.

Residents of the towns of Lawrence, North Andover and Andover who have service from Columbia Gas “should evacuate their homes immediately,” state police said.

Gas lines were being depressurized by the company.

The state police some neighborhoods were evacuated because of gas odors.

There was no immediate information available about the extent of the damage or about any injuries.

“Far too early to speculate on cause” of the explosions, authorities said.