MARBLEHEAD (CBS) – A mysterious 911 call led police to a house that was ruined by a leaky pipe.

It appears the home actually made the call.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports.

Officers went to 31 Rockaway Ave. Wednesday after getting a 911 hang up.

The home owner was nowhere to be found and police went in the back door.

That’s when they found the water and extensive mold caused by a pipe that apparently burst during a winter freeze.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports.

Health Director Wayne Attridge told WBZ-TV water came down inside the walls and through the ceiling.  The wood floors buckled, the ceilings are sagging and the basement was filled with five feet of water.

The water appears to have short-circuited the house’s phone system, which somehow triggered the 911 call.

Attridge said the home owner has been in New York for months and that his daughter has told him about the situation.

The home has not been condemned, but Attridge said repairing it might be more expensive than tearing it down and starting over.

Comments (3)
  1. Ron says:

    Old cordless phones have been known to do this as well.The handset and the base are in regular ‘contact’ through a wireless signal even when they’re docked. When the device is really worn out, sometimes the base mistakenly receives (or interprets it as) the same signal for a 9-1-1 call. This happened to me after the 2006 rains/flooding when the phone line got messed up in my apartment. The landlord got concerned when responders showed up and she had to tell them let them in. It’s especially troubling if you’re home when it happens and the police believe you’re prank dialing since they have to respond to every call. They got 3 in one day from my phone before they yanked the bases’ cords right right out of the wall jacks for both phones. has an article about it as well.

  2. HooDatIS? says:


  3. Saami Garciiaa Barreera says:

    Frozen as well as burst open water lines or the central heating system furnace not working within the most frigid weather conditions since it features freezing way up are generally amongst the most detrimental nightmares. nOt many of us …pipe burts

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