Firefighters battled a large 3-alarm fire in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in a home that was abandoned in the wake of last fall's Merrimack Valley gas disaster.
The fire was reported shortly before 4 p.m. Friday at 21 Brookfield St. Video from the scene of Friday's fire showed heavy smoke and flames pouring from the multi-story building.
Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera said the home was among the buildings that caught fire during the Merrimack Valley disaster on Sept. 13, 2018, when an accidental overpressurization of gas lines caused a series of explosions and fires that killed one, injured dozens of others, damaged hundreds of buildings and left thousands of customers without natural gas service for months.
Former tenants who were at the scene were glad they moved out. They said the fire was deja vu.
"I'm standing here watching this thinking, 'Man, it's a good thing I did, because it could have been me,'" former tenant Tom Duggan said Friday.
Duggan also said that witnesses had seen kids running from the building prior to the fire.
Columbia Gas said on Twitter that it was aware of the fire, but that the property had been without gas service since September of 2018.
The gas company said it sent a tech to the site on Friday to "reconfirm" that there is no gas service and said they are in contact with fire officials and are closely monitoring the situation.
No injuries have been reported and state police are still investigating.