As the sun rose Friday, residents looked over damaged homes that were either blasted by explosions or consumed by flames.
They said that even if your street is cleared to return, only a utility crew should restart gas service.
The November 2012 explosion in Springfield, Massachusetts, was caused when a Columbia employee accidentally punctured a gas line while probing for a leak.
Was anyone injured in the house explosions near Boston? Minutes later, Nam said he heard a loud boom from his neighbour's house and the ground shook. Three people rushed out.
Mansfield, the Andover fire chief, said 35 fires were put out across the town, and that "at least three people have been injured in Andover, including one firefighter and at least two civilians". The cities are north of Boston.
Fire investigators suspected "over-pressurization of a gas main" belonging to Columbia Gas of MA led to the series of explosions and fires, Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield said at a news conference.
Local police reported "fires and explosions" at dozens of properties. Hours before the explosions, the company had unveiled plans to upgrade gas lines across MA, including in the areas where the blasts happened.
Power was shut off to all of Andover, Lawrence and North Andover.
Baker said Eversource would replace Columbia Gas on the same day he warned still-stunned residents of the towns that the return to normalcy could take time following blasts Thursday that set homes ablaze, forced evacuations and left one person dead.
"Gas lines are now being depressurised", police said on Twitter, adding that "it will take some time".
Indiana-based NiSource said in a statement: "Our thoughts are with everyone affected by today's incident".
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he is in contact with first responders and is actively monitoring the situation.
Officials were shutting down power in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover because of the emergency, state police said on Thursday evening. The supply cuts were affecting about 18,000 customers as of 7 a.m., National Grid said on its website.
Authorities said Thursday that fires and explosions that broke out in 70 locations in northern MA may have been caused by gas pressure.
Amtrak has cancelled trains from Boston to Portland, Maine and is bussing passengers. Passengers on three were being moved by bus.
"It was very scary", Williams said, with smoke visible on the skyline.
Lawrence resident Bruce Razin was among the evacuees standing outside the Colonial Heights neighbourhood near the city's high school trying to decide what to do next.
The state police tweeted that local authorities and state troopers were helping evacuate residents to a senior center and a middle school while detectives and others investigated multiple scenes.
East Kingston Fire Chief Ed Warren joined his crew on their way to a station in North Andover where they would be assigned.
Residence halls and academic buildings at Merrimack College were evacuated, according to Jim Chiavelli, chief of staff for the college president.
Teams consisting of gas technicians, fire and police personnel were going door-to-door to make sure the gas is shut off to about 8,600 meters. Columbia Gas noted that it would be "an extended restoration effort, and we will work tirelessly to restore service to the affected customers".