Hundreds of heroic first responders come to the aid of Merrimack Valley residents in need

LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) - Hundreds of heroic first responders from across New England rushed to the aid of residents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover after a gas disaster caused unprecedented damage.

From Maine to New Hampshire to Boston, emergency crews raced through three communities, battling fires, evacuating residents and setting up shelters.

Using an infrared camera, a Massachusetts State Police helicopter crew was able to locate several gas leaks underneath the pavement in Lawrence before any more destruction could occur.

This was just a small part of the emergency response that came from across New England.

Many people affected by the disaster were quick to say how grateful they were to the crews who came to their rescue.

“I thought it was a great show of help,” one resident said.

Those without power today say they are reassured by the massive response.

“At first it was like there weren’t enough for what was going on,” Fradely Martinez said as he was cycling down the street in search of gas for his generator. “But then after the first 20 to 30 minutes you just saw so many firefighters coming from different cities and different towns over. It was crazy.”

First responders have not been the only ones stepping up, many local hotels have been opening their doors to those displaced by the blasts and fires.

Verizon Wireless is also offering customers free texts and calls for the next few days so they can contact loved ones.

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