San Diego

Geyser Floods Home After Hit-and-Run Driver Breaks Fire Hydrant

A geyser caused by a fire hydrant sheared by a hit-and-run driver flooded a home and created a neighborhood mess in Otay Mesa Friday afternoon.

It was reported around 5:30 p.m. on the 5000 block of Mariner Drive. According to San Diego Police Department Sgt. Michael Tansey, a vehicle crashed into the fire hydrant and knocked it over causing a geyser that sprayed an estimated 60 feet in the air. 

The rush of water flooded the house behind the hydrant and left a couple looking for another place to spend the weekend.

"I had about a thousand gallons a minute basically going straight 60 feet in the air, basically curling and then coming down on the center of my roof," homeowner Gary Birwell said.

At first, neighbors thought the flooding was a freak occurance -- possibly a problem with underground pipes.

But surveillance video from a camera at Nick Smith's house across the street revealed another possible explanation.

The footage showed a white SUV stop close to the hydrant. Seconds after it pulled away, the street turned into a river.

"I was actually kind of worried because I didn't want the fire hydrant to shoot up in the air and drop on somebody or one of the cars," Birwell said.

Gary says it took about 15 to 20 minutes and several attempts to shut the water off. What he said was most important, though, was that no one was hurt.

Birwell said it'll take at least a day for him to asses the damage .

No other information was available.

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