LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – A 12-inch water main burst Wednesday in the Westmont area of Los Angeles, sending up a 25-foot geyser of water through the pavement.

The break was reported just after 10 a.m. Wednesday morning at Western Avenue south of Century Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

“I didn’t know what it was,” said Margaret Jones. “One girl across the street said ‘God, it’s coming to get us! It’s a manhole! It’s opening up! We’re all going to fall in!'”

According to the DWP, the pipe, which ran 36 inches underground, was installed in 1948. The pipe is not ancient by water-main standards. Many are designed to last 100 years or more.

A water main break on Western Avenue in the Westmont area sent water 25 feet in the air and blew a huge hole in the pavement.

A broken water main on Western Avenue in the Westmont area sent water 25 feet in the air and blew a huge hole in the pavement.

The geyser shot into the second-story window of an apartment occupied by Sarah Hernandez, soaking her mattress.

“Of course, it’s misty,” Hernandez said. “I noticed my covers were wet and everything, so I immediately closed the door.”

Otherwise, water damage wasn’t severe.

Two nearby schools closed for the day, including an elementary and Puente Learning Center.

Crews shut off the water and worked to repair the main and the street.

Western Avenue was closed between Century Boulevard and 103rd Street. Western Avenue is not expected to reopen until Thursday.

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