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Leonel Rondon's Family Marks Third Anniversary Of Merrimack Valley Explosions With Award Presentation

LAWRENCE (CBS) – Monday marks three years since the Merrimack Valley gas disaster. The explosions ripped through Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, displacing 8,000 people and burning 100 homes.

Eighteen-year-old Leonel Rondon was killed when a chimney collapsed on his SUV, which was parked in a friend's driveway.

Merrimack Valley Explosions
A home on Chickering Road in Lawrence exploded Sept. 13, 2018. The chimney crushed an SUV, killing Leonel Rondon. (WBZ-TV)

The Leonel Rondon Memorial Award was presented to the Lawrence Fire Department on Monday, along with a donation to help with fire and explosion prevention.

At the ceremony, Rondon's sister said while they are still heartbroken about losing Leonel, they want to do good in his honor.

Leonel Rondon
Leonel Rondon (Facebook photo)

"In honor, we will try to make meaning, and do good out of something so devastating. On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to say we highly appreciate our community, who after three years have stood with us with great support," said Lucianny Rondon.

Columbia Gas, the company that took responsibility for the explosions, no longer operates in the state. A federal judge ordered Columbia Gas pay a $53 million fine and sell off its business.

A vigil was held for Leonel on Monday night.

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