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Someone Is Illegally Opening Fire Hydrants in Northeast DC

A police report says a man wearing what appeared to be a fake D.C. government uniform opened a hydrant on H Street

Someone has opened several fire hydrants in Northeast D.C. in the past week, sending tens of thousands of gallons of water gushing onto the street.

It may seem like a harmless prank, but it's illegal and it could put residents at risk in the event of a fire, officials say.

On Monday morning, someone opened a hydrant at 6th and H streets NE. Cellphone video shows a powerful stream of water crashing across the street. Water poured into the Whole Foods store nearby and forced a road closure.

A police report says a man wearing what appeared to be a fake D.C. government uniform opened the hydrant on H Street. No additional information on a suspect or possible motive was available immediately.

In the past week, six hydrants have been opened in five locations in Northeast D.C., DC Water says.

"We don't know if this same individual has been hitting other hydrants, but there has been a rash of these in the last few days, and we're concerned," DC Water spokesman Vince Morris said.

Opening hydrants is dangerous, Morris said. If there's a fire, there's less water pressure for fire hoses.

In Northwest D.C., there have been been reports of a man going to homes and churches to turn on outdoor water spigots and leave them running.

In late August, a man said he saw a man open a hydrant at Varnum Street and Rock Creek Church Road NW. A photo shows a man in shorts and a T-shirt with his hand on the hydrant. News4 did not immediately have information on whether police were aware of the photo.

If you see someone opening a hydrant, call police.

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