Hydrant hit and run? Sheared-off fire hydrant provides dancing waters show

January 07, 2000
Santa Paula News
Monday night offered an unusual show of dancing waters to commuters on Highway 126. . .a gusher of water reaching over 30 feet high. The cause of the mishap appears to be a case of hydrant hit and run as the hydrant was found to be sheared-off at the base. The incident occurred at about 5:47 p.m. on January 3, according to Santa Paula Fire Department Chief Paul Skeels.“We got a call to respond to 895 Faulkner Road, near Kmart,” said Chief Skeels.The area is located at the west end of the city off of Peck Road and acts as a frontage road next to Highway 126.“When firefighters got there they found a broken hydrant, it was sheared off,” more than likely as the result of being hit by a vehicle, he added, “but no one knows for sure.”The water was gushing over 30 feet into the air and “apparently, it was spectacular,” noted Chief Skeels.
City of Santa Paula Public Works personnel was called to the scene and the valve to the fire hydrant turned off. Fire department personnel was released from the scene at about 6:09 p.m.There were numerous reports of the dancing waters show but no real reason of why it happened, said Santa Paula Police Commander Mark Hanson.“Oh, it’s likely someone hit it and then took off,” he said. “They probably didn’t want to hang around to see how much it might cost them. It was reported to the SPPD as water coming out of the ground so I assume nobody actually saw it happen.”

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