Capt. Justin Martin of the Fairfield Fire Department watches as water shoots from a broken fire hydrant in the parking lot of the Motel 6 on Holiday Lane, Friday. (Glen Faison/Daily Republic)


Driver clips hydrant, sends water gushing into air

By From page A3 | September 08, 2012

FAIRFIELD — A suspected hit-and-run in the parking lot of a Fairfield motel sent a geyser of water shooting into the air from a damaged fire hydrant.

The incident occurred shortly after the lunch hour Friday at the Motel 6 on the 1400 block of Holiday Lane, near Interstate 80. The driver was nowhere to be found as firefighters arrived at the motel.

“Someone kissed this hydrant,” Fairfield Fire Department Battalion Chief Rob Bartoli said as water shot into the air.

Water flooded the motel’s parking lot, spilled onto adjacent Holiday Lane and flowed curb-height onto Travis Boulevard, where it was caught by the first storm drain.

Fire Department Capt. Justin Martin said the city’s storm drain system did exactly what it’s designed to do when inundated with a sudden flow of water.

It took firefighters nearly 30 minutes to shut off the water supply to the hydrant so a city crew could replace it.

Bartoli said city hydrants, such as the one damaged Friday, are made to sheer off if hit by a vehicle, to minimize damage and to help prevent injuries. The design also makes them easier to repair, he said.

The fount of water, which reached nearly to roof height of the two-story motel, was a fraction of what people would see if a hydrant on a major Fairfield street is clipped off. Bartoli said water pressure at those city hydrants would make for a flow four times as high as Friday’s gusher.

Reach Managing Editor Glen Faison at 427-6925 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.

Glen Faison

Glen Faison

Glen Faison joined the Daily Republic as managing editor in September 2009. He previously worked as a reporter and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the San Joaquin Valley for 20-plus years. His experience includes time as editor of the Golden Eagle, a military paper serving the Lemoore Naval Air Station. He graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and bleeds Bulldogs red. He is an avid fan of the NFL's Washington team, and attended the 1988 NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings at RFK Stadium. He's a member of the Fairfield-Suisun Twilight Rotary Club and a board member for the Solano County Library Foundation. He married his wife, Jill, in 2005, and has three children: Courtni, Tyler and Hayli.

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