LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) _ Hotplates are being distributed to residents who have been left without gas service more than a week after gas explosions and fires rocked the Merrimack Valley.

The Boston Globe reports that members of the Massachusetts National Guard started giving out thousands of hotplates to residents Saturday morning as part of a massive relief effort in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

Officials say about 7,000 hotplates for cooking are being distributed, followed by about 24,000 space heaters for warmth. The heaters are expected to be available starting Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Columbia Gas was holding a job fair Saturday in Andover to hire temporary workers to help with the recovery effort.

The Sept. 13 disaster killed one person, injured some 25 others and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes and businesses.

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