Chief: Utility should fund new firefighters after explosions

Massachusetts
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In this image take from video provided by WCVB in Boston, firefighters battle a large structure fire in Lawrence, Mass, a suburb of Boston, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. Emergency crews are responding to what they believe is a series of gas explosions that have damaged homes across three communities north of Boston. (WCVB via AP)

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — The fire chief in a community impacted by September’s gas pipeline explosions wants the utility responsible to pay for the city to hire additional firefighters in the new year.

Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty tells The Eagle Tribune that he expects increased calls about gas odors, leaks and carbon monoxide problems to continue in 2019.

He says Lawrence firefighters have responded to more than 2,400 emergency calls since the September explosions.

Moriarty says he thinks Columbia Gas should cover the $1.1 million cost for another engine company in 2019.

Andover and North Andover were also impacted by the disaster that killed one teen, injured about two dozen others.

Columbia Gas said in a statement that it’s working with officials to finalize a plan for the next restoration phase and welcomes the opportunity to discuss this issue with the fire chiefs.

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Information from: The Eagle-Tribune, http://www.eagletribune.com

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