LAWRENCE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — On the one-year anniversary of the Merrimack Valley gas explosions, the City of Lawrence named a square after the teen killed in that disaster.
The square sits on the edge of Immigrant Place, marked by a blue sign reading Leonel Rondon Square.
‘This Is Not A Drill:’ The Merrimack Valley On Fire, One Year Later
In a ceremony Friday morning, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera unveiled the sign in front of Rondon's family and other area residents, and Gov. Charlie Baker addressed the crowd.
"His story was a life lost too young, through no fault of his own, because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time," the governor said.
Rondon, 18, died when the Chickering Road home he was visiting exploded, sending a chimney flying onto his car. He had just gotten his driver's license.
"I hug my kids tighter now after this, because you just never know, something crazy like this can happen," Rivera said.
Rivera said the city is still finding its footing, but is still standing.
Rondon's sister, Lucianny, could barely speak as she remembered her brother as "full of life, joyful, always happy."
"It's not only our pain, but it's the community's as well, so we wanted to share this moment with them," she said. "This should never happen."
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports