Residents and officials in and around the Merrimack Valley are expressing their gratitude to first responders for their swift action and continued response following a series of natural gas explosions.
Responders across Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire assisted in containment and evacuation efforts in Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover after gas-fueled explosions led to dozens of fires across the three communities.
One family from Tyngsborough, Mass., donated meals and candy to Tyngsborough Police. Their donation came with a note thanking officers and reminding them to "stay safe."
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Firefighters raced from one blaze to another Thursday, fighting flames that engulfed homes, while utility crews rushed to shut off gas and electricity. State and local police shut down streets and evacuated residents from their homes.
Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes as the affected area remains without gas or electrical power. Officials say it could be weeks before gas and power are restored.
Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty praised the efforts of all responders involved early Saturday morning.
"I have a minute and no words to express the pride admiration and thanks for the first class professionalism of my department and all those departments far and near who have helped and continue to help in Lawrence's extreme time of need," Moriarty tweeted on Saturday.