Burst water heater scares kids

A few kids in a rental home in Clinton heard a loud pop, saw hot water gush out of the water heater and called 911 on Tuesday.

South Whidbey Fire/EMS sent one of its deputy chiefs to investigate. Jon Beck found the water heater damaged and gushing water out of a three-fourths of an inch hole.

“There were three teenagers at home that did an incredible job trying to manage it at the best of their abilities,” Beck said. “They had it dammed with towels.”

The Clinton home sustained “significant” water damage, Beck said, estimated around $8,000 just to the home itself, excluding personal belongings. Beck shut off the water and the furnace, which was positioned on the other side of a wall from the water heater.

The home, owned by Curt Gordon, was in the process of being upgraded for energy efficiency and the technician was out for lunch. A repair to the line came loose, Beck said, causing the leak.

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