(CNN)A man was killed as a series of explosions and fires rocked nearly 40 homes and businesses in three Massachusetts towns on Thursday, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.
Leonel Rondon, 18, was inside a car in Lawrence, Massachusetts, when a chimney fell on the vehicle, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman with the Essex County District Attorney’s office said.
He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he later died.
Authorities said that an issue with gas service may have prompted several explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover late Thursday afternoon, leaving at least 10 people injured.
The fires stretched across dozens of blocks, Massachusetts State Police said. Not all gas had been shut off by Thursday evening and some of the lines were overpressurized, officials said.
“This has been an overwhelming event,” Andover Fire Rescue Chief Michael B. Mansfield told reporters. “I have been in the fire service for almost 39 years and I have never seen anything like this in my entire career. … It looked like Armageddon, it really did.”
There was no immediate information available about the extent of the damage. “Far too early to speculate on cause” of the explosions, authorities said.
Witnesses described a harrowing scene. Lawrence resident Ra Nam told CNN affiliate WCVB that a boiler in his house caught fire. Minutes later, a loud boom came from his neighbor’s home. Three people rushed out.
Lawrence General Hospital received 10 patients, one of whom was in critical condition and one listed as serious, according to spokeswoman Jill Halsey. One patient was transferred. Andover officials said a firefighter was among the injured.
Firefighters put out 35 fires in Andover, town officials said. The cities are north of Boston.