The house owned by Lawrence Police Officer Ivan Soto sits nearly burned to the ground on Jefferson Street, in Lawrence, Mass., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. It was one of multiple houses that went up in flames on Thursday afternoon after gas explosions and fires triggered by a problem with a gas line that feeds homes in several communities north of Boston. After rushing home to check on his family and warn his neighbors to evacuate, Soto went back on patrol while his house was burning down. (AP Photo/Bob Salsberg)

Officer helped others while his home burned after gas blasts

September 14, 2018 - 4:40 pm

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — Ivan Soto's home was engulfed by flames, but the police officer was too busy helping other residents evacuate after a series of natural gas explosions to worry about his own loss.

After making sure his family was safe, the Lawrence officer rushed back out to help others — and stayed on the job even after his bosses told him to leave.

On Friday, little remained of Soto's home, one of dozens damaged by the fiery blasts in three communities north of Boston a day earlier.

A neighbor says Soto stayed on duty even though his own house was burning.

Sgt. John Dushame tells The Eagle Tribune the department relieved him, but he wanted to keep working.

A teenager was killed and at least 25 others were injured in the explosions.

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