Officials warn of donations scam in wake on gas explosions

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LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts officials are warning of a scam targeting people seeking to help those displaced by the natural gas explosions and fires that rocked the Merrimack Valley north of Boston.

Local officials in Lawrence and Andover say residents have reported receiving calls from individuals falsely claiming they’re collecting donations on behalf of a local firefighter’s association for the disaster.

Lawrence officials say people should instead bring essential items to the city’s Senior Center and other locations that have been set up to aid victims.

Andover officials say anyone offering support or donations should email

A series of gas explosions Thursday killed a teenager, injured about 25 others, damaged dozens of homes and forced the evacuation of thousands in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover.

Federal and state officials are investigating.

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