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Homes evacuated, sinkhole forms after water main bursts in Hollywood

Homes evacuated, sinkhole forms after water main bursts in Hollywood
Homes evacuated, sinkhole forms after water main bursts in Hollywood 02:23

A water-main break spouting a massive geyser of water damaged a bungalow and a fire truck Thursday night.

Sinkhole on Fountain Avenue.  KCAL-News

Crews were sent to the 6000 block of W. Fountain Avenue at around 9:30 p.m. Thursday after receiving reports of flooding. When they arrived, they found a geyser of water shooting 70 feet into the air, according to Los Angeles Fire Department. 

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews were on scene and had reportedly shut down the water an hour later, but flooded streets remained. Water service was restored Friday.

Several homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution as a large sinkhole began to open in the area. 

The roof of a bungalow at Fountain Ave. and Beechwood Drive caved in from the heavy amount of water falling from the geyser. 

"As water shot dozens of feet into the air, firefighters received reports of a woman trapped in a home being pounded by the falling stream of water," an LAFD spokesman said. "Crews were able to rescue her, without injury. Her home has now sustained a roof collapse and sever flooding."

Firefighters were first called to the scene after flooding was reported, but could not locate an origination point. As they worked on Fountain Ave., they heard a rumble and the ground began to give way under their Fire Engine 82, LAFD's electric fire engine, and the rear apparatus dropped into the growing hole. The driver was able to successfully drive away just as the sinkhole appeared, though the engine sustained minor damage.

No injuries were reported.  

That pipe is reportedly 93 years old, and though LADWP plans to replace the ruptured segment, they will be carefully monitoring it in the meantime.

Friday, LADWP workers had no record of any construction ongoing in the area, but were unclear if any residents were having private work done. The cause of the break was still being investigated.

Another LADWP water-main break damaged the roadway at the intersection of Poinsettia Place and Willoughby Avenue above Melrose Friday morning. Twelve customers in the area did not have running water at noon Friday, LADWP said. The sidewalk and roadway were slightly damaged.

A smaller water-main break was reported Friday morning at McCadden Place and Rosewood Avenue in Hancock Park.

LADWP tells KCAL News their leak rate is below the national average at fewer than 17 leaks per 100 miles. The national average is 25 leaks per 100 miles of pipes.

Though the three main breaks or leaks are not directly connected, a spokesperson said LADWP tends to see more breaks during extremely cold weather because pipes contract, adding pressure when cold weather runs through them. 

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