EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 23, 2008

Major fires in Lawrence

Jan. 21, 2008: Seven-alarm fire breaks out in the block of Market and Parker streets. Eleven buidings are destroyed, most of them multi-family homes. An estimated 200 people are evacuated from 26 housing units. The fire breaks out in a former nightclub under renovation and is described as suspicious. One person suffers minor injuries.

Dec. 11, 1995: An explosion at the Malden Mills plant on the Lawrence-Methuen line consumes the 29-acre campus. Twenty-seven people are injured.

From 1991 through 1994: Described as the city's "flaming era;" Lawrence has more arson fires per capita than any other place in the country. In 1991 alone, there are 144 arson cases reported, bringing national attention to the city. This leads to the creation of the Arson Task Force. It is the last of three arson waves that began in the 1980s.