Burst pipe floods Laguna Playhouse

A pipe carrying water burst inside the Laguna Playhouse's Moulton Theatre on Wednesday night during rehearsals for the performance of "Little Women," which opens this weekend.

Laguna Beach firefighters arrived on the scene shortly before 8 p.m. and found about 3 inches of standing water flowing from the restroom area in the lobby downstairs into the auditorium, fire Capt. Thomas Padden said. Someone turned a shut-off valve to stop the water flow, Padden said.

No one was injured, Fire Division Chief Dan Stefano said.

In an earlier version of this story, Dan Stefano was incorrectly identified as a fire captain.

Cory Carrillo, a sound designer, was in the restroom when the pipe burst overhead.

"I heard something heavy falling above me, a big clank," Carrillo said. "Water started coming out of the exhaust fan and the fluorescent lighting."

Carrillo said water was 5 inches deep in the lobby.

"I got out before getting wet," Carrillo said.

Glenn Powell, associate production manager of the Playhouse, walked around barefoot on the saturated carpet.

"I unplugged the sound board and any vital equipment," Powell said. "We started getting towels and sandbags down. The water went down the stairs and all the way under the seats."

Soggy carpet aside, Stefano said the damage could have been worse.

"Had [the Playhouse] not had anyone on-site, the devastation would have been bad," Stefano said.

"Little Women: Meg, Jo, Beth & Amy," part of the Playhouse's Youth Theatre program, opens at 7 p.m. Friday.

"The show will go on," said Playhouse executive director Karen Wood on Thursday. Wood said a temporary box office was set up Thursday at 580 Broadway St. while crews dry the carpet.


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