LPD: Multiple fire hydrants opened overnight, causing water damage
At least three separate fire hydrant incidents were reported overnight, prompting an investigation from LPD.
We spoke to one family that had damage to their garage.
Early Thursday morning, a Lincoln couple was returning home from their late night work shift when they found a stream of water coming from a fire hydrant on 31st and J street near Woods park.
“I could see water gushing out from the sidewalk and sure enough, I walked around the corner maybe a little before 2 am and the fire hydrant’s side cap had been removed and it was spraying water west down J street,” said Andrea Fabiano.
Andrea’s husband Bobby called it “gnarly,” saying a strong burst of water was shooting toward their home.
“We had, probably about an inch of water in our garage, and then in our driveway, it was ankle deep,” said Fabiano.
After seeing the water, Andrea called the non-emergency line and public works came out to shut off the water.
Lincoln police say this wasn’t the only case of fire hydrants being messed with overnight.
Two others in Lincoln had been opened.
One was just a block over and the other was near 79th and Holdrege.
But no one else was affected like Andrea and Bobby Fabiano.
“It was all over. The water flow was coming down here, it was like a quick stream, it was a lot,” said Fabiano.
Fortunately, there isn’t any structure damage to their home.
The couple is more worried about personal property that got wet.
Andrea says she was lucky to find it when they did, or the damage could have been much worse.
“Who knows how long it would have been on before we even got here. Had we taken longer at our shift, it could have been on for another 30 minutes before anyone noticed,” said Fabiano.
LPD is still investigating to see whether or not the overnight hydrant leaks were related, and if they were acts of vandalism.
The couple is also reaching out to neighbors to see if they have any video footage of the area to try and find the person responsible.
Lincoln police are searching for whoever is responsible for opening several fire hydrants across the city.
Police said three hydrants were opened sometime in the early morning hours Thursday. The hydrants were near 31st and J Street, 79th and Holdrege Street, and a home on Marshall Avenue.
None of the hydrants appeared to be damaged, and police said they’re not sure why the hydrants were opened.
“We’ve had a very busy summer, with the number of vandalism, the number of cars that have been vandalized, obviously, with this recent one with over 30 thousand dollars worth of damage, the fire hydrants,” Officer Angela Sands said. “There has been a lot of shenanigans recently, so we’re very excited that school is back in session.”
Police said one person reported water from one of the hydrants got into their basement, causing an estimated $1,500 in damage. The victim reported water in their driveway was up to their ankles. Police said the cases are possibly related, but they are only investigating that particular case as an intentional act of vandalism as of Thursday morning.
The opening of a fire hydrant by an unauthorized person is a misdemeanor offense, per city ordinance.