The gas firm's parent company, Indiana-based NiSource, earlier said its thoughts were with those affected.
At least six people were injured in the fires and explosions, including two in critical condition.
AN 18-YEAR-old man was killed and at least 12 others injured after a gas explosion sparked 70 blasts causing homes to go up in flames in MA last night. "So we're going to keep looking and try to find federal dollars to help Lawrence, to help homeowners, to help Andover, but it's - I just have to be blunt - it's just not clear that there are programs that can help", Warren said.
The cause wasn't immediately clear.
Andover, North Andover and Lawrence projects were included.
By late Thursday, all of the fires had been doused but many areas remained silent and dark after residents fled and power companies cut electricity to prevent further fires. About 25 people, including two firefighters, were wounded, officials said.
The three communities house more than 146,000 residents about 26 miles north of Boston, near the New Hampshire border.
An 18-year-old man was in a auto in Lawrence in a driveway when a house exploded, the chimney landed on the vehicle and the victim was pronounced dead.
Andover officials issued a statement saying that all 35 fires in the town had been extinguished after as many as 18 were burning consecutively at the peak of the situation. Lawrence General Hospital said it had treated 13 people for injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to blast trauma.
Nam says he ran downstairs and saw that his boiler was on fire.
Freeland to head back to Washington for high-level NAFTA negotiations
The two countries will meet in Washington on Tuesday to decide how they'll include the U.S.'s agreement with Mexico into the deal. Freeland told reporters at the Women in the World event in Toronto, without commenting further on the state of the trade talks.
Crews work to knock down a fire.
"The first priority for our crews at the scene is to ensure the safety of our customers and the community by supporting first responders and completing safety checks on our system and in the surrounding area", it said in a statement.
At the height of the disaster, Michael Rivera, who narrowly escaped a house fire, said his city "looked like a war zone".
Massachusetts State Police say officials will be shutting off power to all residents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. But they recommend using "extreme caution", and to call 911 immediately if you smell gas or other odors.
In a separate press conference afterward, Columbia Gas President Steve Bryant said the company has met "with state officials on a very regular basis".
- A 2011 natural gas explosion killed five people in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and that state's largest gas utility was fined by regulators, who called the company's safety record "downright alarming".
State police now puts the tally of fires and explosions at 70, up from the 39 initially reported, with the number expected to grow. Anyone in those towns who has gas service from Columbia Gas should leave their homes until further notice. Before the explosions, Columbia Gas had said it would be upgrading gas lines in neighbourhoods across the state, including the affected suburbs.
Joseph Solomon, the police chief in nearby Methuen, said there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky".
Massachusetts State Police tweeted that the fires broke out across a wide swath in the city of Lawrence and the town of North Andover.
The incident began about 5 p.m. when several explosions occurred in buildings in the towns of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover.
Massachusetts State Police say gas lines are now being depressurized by the company. A police officer directed him to North Andover's high school, where he slept on a cot.