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911 call from an unoccupied Marblehead home leads police to pipe leak, flooding

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Published on April 30, 2011 in The Boston Globe, Page B2

The Brave Little Toaster. The Little Engine That Could. Now you may be able to add to that list The House That Called Police.

Emergency officials in Marblehead say they received a call from an empty house and responded to find that a pipe had flooded the cellar.

Police Chief Robert Picariello said department officials are unsure how the call from 31 Rockaway Ave. was placed at 7:58 a.m. Wednesday. The house appeared to have been empty since the leak began.

The call lasted about two seconds, he estimated, enough to obtain the address. When the department called back, there was only static.

The Salem News reported the 911 call went to police from the house after water short-circuited the phone system and apparently sparked the emergency call.

Officers who arrived on the scene saw water in the home and summoned the fire department.

Firefighters gained entry and found a pipe leaking on the second floor and the cellar flooded.

“It was pretty bad; black mold was everywhere,” said Fire Captain Mike Porter.

Firefighters called a company to pump out the water, and all utilities were shut down, he said.

The town health director and building commissioner will continue looking into the home’s safety, but Porter said he did not think it was safe for people to enter because of the extensive mold growth.

Records show the homeowner is James Cowin, but his listed number for the address is no longer in service.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Written by jdunccc

April 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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