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Flames consuming a home in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Photo via CBS Boston Youtube page

Firefighters have responded to at least 70 reported fires and explosions at homes caused by over-pressurized natural gas lines in three Massachusetts towns, according to state police, forcing neighborhoods to evacuate as first responders scramble to secure scenes and prevent further damage.

The big picture: The explosions underscore the inherent risks of relying on fuels that can be explosive, Axios' Amy Harder writes. This is likely to add to already intense opposition to natural gas across the U.S., particularly in New England. America has become increasingly reliant on the fuel over the last decade as fracking and other extraction techniques helped unlock new supplies.

The details: The AP reports that at least six people with fire-related injuries are being treated at nearby hospitals, but their conditions and severity of the injuries are unknown.

  • Photographs and videos from the scenes show houses bursting into flames with thick smoke. The AP also reports that the three communities house more than 146,000 residents.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the increase in affected homes.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.