Drainage Pipe Bursts Into Flames After Teenage Prank - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Drainage Pipe Bursts Into Flames After Teenage Prank

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by Adam Ghassemi

WHITE HOUSE, Tenn.  Two White House teenagers have been charged with vandalism after a summer prank caused major damage to a neighborhood street.

Investigators with the White House Police Department said two 13-year-old boys filled a street culvert with gasoline and threw lit fireworks inside. Both teens have been charged with vandalism for damages over $10,000.

Repairs to the damaged street could cost the boys' families $30,000.

Neighbor Lisa Davis was working from home in August when she noticed the fire erupting outside her window.

"I heard an explosion," said Davis. "I thought, ‘Oh my goodness. The drainage ditch is on fire.'"

Flames were coming out of storm drains on both sides of Christian Drive and the culvert underneath. It took a while for firefighters to get the fire under control because they weren't exactly sure what was fueling it.

"That was one that we've never seen before," said Chief Joe Palmer, with the White House Fire Department. "Of course, the first thing that comes into your mind is, is it a gas leak? Or what did cause it because it's not normal. You just don't see this."

The fire got so hot it burned a neighbor's mailbox and one of Davis' trees. The temperature underground melted the plastic drainage pipe, causing dirt and the street to eventually cave in.

The city has been renting large steel plates to make the road passable.

"They probably just thought it was going to be a loud firecracker," Davis said.

Investigators later tracked down the two teenage boys. Chief Pat Brady with the White House Police Department said the teens were apparently bored during their summer break.

"Kids will be kids. I guess there was just stupidity involved there," Davis said.

Palmer said it was incredible no one got hurt.

"(It was a) very dangerous situation with as much gasoline as they had to have put there to cause the fire," he said.

City officials said they are now considering repair bids, which could be more $30,000. Brady said once the case goes to juvenile court, the city of White House will seek repayment for the damage from the boys' families.

Email: aghassemi@newschannel5.com
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