Police responded Friday morning to reports of an active shooter at Topsail High School in eastern North Carolina, but officials later determined a faulty water heater was to blame for the scare, according to local reports.
“There’s no active shooter,” said Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins, reported the StarNews in Wilmington. “It’s a malfunctioning water heater.”
The county school system notified parents of a reported active shooter in a tweet.
Authorities were alerted around 6:30 a.m., according to ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.
School buses headed for the school were being diverted to a nearby Lowe’s grocery parking lot.
Topsail High School is about 105 miles southeast of Raleigh.
It shares a campus with a middle school and an elementary school.
WECT reported that officers and deputies from the Topsail Police Department, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office and UNC-Wilmington were at the scene, and the school campus was sealed off.
“All campuses on the eastern side of the county are on lockdown,” Pender Schools tweeted shortly before 8 a.m. “Buses for Topsail Elementary, Topsail Middle, and Topsail High are being staged at Lowe’s Foods across from Topsail Elementary.”