FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018
Media contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Public Safety Officials Provide Update on Gas Emergency
Town Manager Andrew P. Flanagan, Police Chief Patrick E. Keefe, and Fire Chief Michael Mansfield report that the Town of Andover is currently involved in a major gas-related emergency.
At 5:01 p.m., Andover Fire-Rescue Department struck a 10-alarm response, its maximum traditional fire response. That directed 20 fire engines and 10 fire ladder trucks to the Town of Andover plus the town’s entire fire department. However, a lot of those resources were diverted by concurrent 10-alarm situations in Lawrence and North Andover.
Chief Michael Mansfield requested, through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, two additional fire task forces to respond to Andover. This sent an additional 20 engines and ladder trucks total to Andover. Chief Mansfield also requested an ambulance task force, sending 10 ambulances to Andover.
Andover Fire Rescue responded and extinguished 35 total fires in town. At peak, 18 fires were burning at the same time. ALL FIRES HAVE BEEN EXTINGUISHED, however fire crews will remain in Andover throughout the evening.
The Town of Andover has asked residents and businesses to evacuate and remain away from homes and buildings until officials have deemed them safe.
These are gas-related fires and Columbia Gas is working to shut off gas service. Once that process is completed, Andover public safety officials will reevaluate the situation.
At least three people have been injured in Andover, including one firefighter and two civilians.
Chief Keefe notes that police resources from throughout Massachusetts have responded to Andover, including the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) Rapid Response Team, the NEMLEC Motor Unit, Massachusetts State and Police. Chief Mansfield is grateful for the response of so many agencies including MEMA, The State Fire Marshal’s Office, and fire departments from as far away as Boston, Needham, and Belmont.
The Andover Senior Center and Andover Youth Center are open for residents who have been displaced. Additional facilities may be opened if necessary.
This is a breaking news update, and more information will be provided as soon as it becomes available. Updates will be made at www.andoverma.gov and on the town’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.