By now, millions of people have learned about how, in seeming staccato fashion, dozens of homes in North Andover, Andover and South Lawrence Massachusetts literally blew up, one after another, yesterday (September 13.) Fire, police, and disaster crews from across northeastern Massachusetts poured in to these communities in response. As of right now, there has been one fatality reported – a young man – 18 year-old Leonel Rondon of Lawrence, was killed when a home on Chickering Road exploded, causing the chimney to collapse on a car that Rondon was in, inside the driveway of that home. A photo of the boy is below. Other fatalities may follow.
News helicopters observing from the sky have commented that these communities looked like they were bombed by enemy airplanes, strafing the region. The word “Armageddon” has been used by more than one source to describe the devastation, which from accounts issued so far, would indeed replicate house after house, exploding one after the other, as if either on timers or bombed from above. I hope to observe some of the damage myself, but rescue and safety crews will likely mean that aerial news footage will have to suffice, for now.
MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz stated that emergency crews have so far responded to somewhere between 60 and 80 fires, and multiple explosions within a brief time frame.