PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — In the wake of dozens of gas explosions in Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley, National Grid said its gas lines are operating normally.

Dozens of homes serviced by Columbia Gas exploded and caught fire Thursday evening – killing a teenager and injuring others.

Eyewitness News reached out to National Grid spokesman Ted Kresse about the safety of gas service here. He said the company has confirmed the gas system across its territory is operating normally.

He also said National Grid electric employees were already on site assisting first responders.  

“As a safety precaution, we were asked by the State Fire Marshal to shut down power to roughly 18,000 in the area,” Kresse said.

As far as gas safety goes, Kresse had the following advice.

If you suspect a natural gas leak:

  • Get Out – All occupants should leave the house immediately. Do not use the telephone or light switches for any reason.
  • Call for Help – After leaving the house and reaching a safe environment, call the National Grid 24-hour gas emergency numbers: Rhode Island:1-800-640-1595; MA: 1-800-233-5325
  • Stay Out – Do not return to your home until National Grid tells you it is safe.

Kresse said customers should never try and shut down or turn on the gas supply to their own home. If they smell gas or there’s an emergency they should evacuate and wait for further instructions from first responders or their local utility to arrive on the scene.