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Columbia Gas/NiSource Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion, Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, MA

Project Value: $17 - $19 million

On September 13, 2018, excessive pressure in natural gas lines owned by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts caused a series of explosions and fires to occur in as many as 40 homes, with over 80 individual fires, in the Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts, towns of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover. One person was killed and 30,000 were forced to evacuate their homes. Select Demo’s original scope consisted solely of the removal of gas appliances, but the general contracting firm and NiSource (Columbia Gas’ ownership) were overly impressed with our service and attention to detail that the scope was quickly increased to: asbestos abatement of 7,500+ houses; removal of underground asbestos transite pipe; delivery of new equipment; chimney cleaning; and general clean-up. At the height of the project, Select Demo was running 200+ of their own laborers each day, seven days per week from sun-up until sun-down. Select Demo’s custom tracking system “Select Application Form” was so effective in tracking such a labor-intensive project with a multitude of moving parts, that it became the primary source for NiSource and insurance adjusters to ensure accuracy of resident restoration and claims.


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