At least 25 other people reportedly were injured.
Investigators suspected that over-pressurisation of a gas main belonging to Columbia Gas of MA led to the series of explosions and fires, Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield said on Thursday. In a release dated Thursday the company had said it would "be upgrading natural gas lines in neighbourhoods across the state".
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera reassured immigrants who might not be living in his city legally that they had nothing to fear.
Massachusetts State Police say gas lines are now being depressurized by the company.
Gas and electricity remained shut off Friday in most of the area, and entire neighbourhoods were eerily deserted.
"Cases range from smoke inhalation to traumatic blast injuries", the hospital said. "I respect the governor's judgment; the governor has the same interest as we do, we want to restore service to these customers".
In a statement, Columbia Gas said crews will be working around the clock to turn off the gas at affected homes and conduct safety inspections. As of Friday afternoon, Bryant said the company had checked about 3,000 meters. 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.
Officials in the three municipalities were allowing people back into certain areas, often street by street.
Bruce Razin, who was among the evacuees and saw a neighbours house destroyed said: "I couldn't imagine if that was my house".
Crews work to knock down a fire in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on Thursday. Andover officials asked residents and businesses in gas-serviced neighborhoods to evacuate.
Soon after 7pm, officials said all fires in the town had been extinguished. We are saddened to learn of the death of a young man as a result of these events.
The company has set up a claims hotline - 1-800-590-5571 - and will open a claims center at the Lawrence Public Library on Sunday for those whose property was affected by the incidents.
"What we know is that there have been multiple explosions, multiple fires that are happening across the city", Rivera said.
The National Transportation Safety Board was sending a team to investigate, saying pipelines are within its jurisdiction. "However, it will take a number of years to eliminate the aging pipe from the gas distribution system".
Volunteers help to unload a truck of donations outside the Parthum School in Lawrence Friday. "It's insane how this happened", said a friend, Cassandra Carrion.
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, who also criticized Columbia for what he said was an inadequate response to the crisis, and Sen.
Authorities identified the 18-year-old killed when a series of gas explosions rocked a string of Boston suburbs on Thursday. He expects regulators eventually will approve rates to cover more infrastructure spending at what is a minor piece of the sprawling Indiana-based utility holding company.
Headquartered in Westborough, MA, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts serves about 320,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Massachusetts, the greater Springfield area and the Merrimack Valley. Those accidents have caused more than $100 million in damage.
Despite having about 25 percent fewer miles of pipe than the bigger gas utility National Grid, Columbia Gas has had more incidents costing more money - nearly $3 million since 2010.
No additional gas-related emergencies had been reported on Friday.