Firefighters respond to corroded fire hydrant that burst Tuesday Afternoon in Calabasas


The Los Angeles County Fire department responds to the burst fire hydrant on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, in Calabasas, CA. Photo credit: Rachel Franklin

By Rachel Franklin

On Tuesday afternoon, a fire hydrant burst at the crossroads of Mountain View Drive and Mureau Road in Calabasas.

According to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Knott of the Lost Hills Station, the security guard working across the street at the gate of the Mountain Park Estates community, Adrian Alvarez, reported the burst hydrant to the police.

The hydrant was spewing water for about 30 minutes before Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD) employees could shut off the hydrant’s water valve at about 12:52 p.m.

“I called around 12:15; I called Las Virgenes,” said Alvarez. “It just started gushing out.”

Shortly after Knott arrived on the scene, three firefighters from Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 125 arrived and attempted to shut off the underground water valve.

LACFD crews attempt to use a valve key to shut off the water value on a spewing hydrant on Tuesday, March, 23, 2021, in Calabasas, CA. The valve key was too short so the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District arrived with a longer valve key. Photo credit: Rachel Franklin

According to Firefighter and Moorpark College student Tim Foy, their valve key was too short to be able to turn off the water. The fire hydrant was corroded, and the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District was contacted to help shut off the valve.

“I was supposed to be the one that was going to get drenched, so I took off my suit,” said Foy. “Luckily, the water is facing away from the street.”

Six LVMWD vehicles arrived on the scene roughly 10 minutes later. Deputy Knott directed traffic as LVMWD employees used a longer valve key to shut off the underground valve.

One of these employees, Andy Arenas, noted that this type of situation does not occur often.

“We don’t really know how it’s going to be fixed,” said Arenas. “We’ll have to do an investigation to see if a car hit it or if landscapers were working.”

LVMWD employees then used brooms to push dirt displaced by the water out of the intersection. A street sweeper helped clean as he drove through the road section.