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Broken fire hydrant causes roof collapse in Sorrento Valley

A geyser of water spewing out of a broken fire hydrant alongside a Sorrento Valley commercial complex pooled atop a nearby building Thursday and caused part of its roof to collapse, prompting an evacuation but causing no reported injuries.

The weight of the ponding water from the ruptured fireplug, which had been sheared off by a vehicle, apparently caused the structural failure in the 9800 block of Pacific Heights Boulevard about 4 p.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Emergency crews cleared everyone out of the flooded three-story building near Mira Mesa Boulevard, SDFRD spokesman Lee Swanson said. There were no immediate reports of injuries, he said.

Utility personnel got the overflow from the broken pipe under control within about 15 minutes, and a city engineer was called in to evaluate the stability of the damaged structure, Swanson said.