Heater malfunction mistaken for gunfire at high school

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A malfunctioning water heater was to blame for the reports of an active shooter at a North Carolina high school.

An active shooter was reported at around 7 a.m.at Topsail High School.

"There's no active shooter", Collins said, according to the Wilmington StarNews.

Later officials said the incident was caused by a malfunctioning water heater. "Pender County Schools is taking all precautions to ensure the safety of students and staff".

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Buses for South Topsail Elementary, North Topsail Elementary and Surf City schools are being taken to their respective school campuses where students will remain on lockdown on their school buses.

There was a heavy law enforcement presence at the school, which is located at 245 N. Saint Johns Church Road in Hampstead, when the reports of an active shooter first surfaced.

There were no injuries, Pender County Sheriff's Capt. James Rowell told WWAY.

When deputies arrived, they heard the sound of gunshots.

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In a news release, schools spokeswoman Miranda Ferguson wrote that buses were being rerouted.

Parents and students are gathering in the parking lot of a Lowes Foods.

The lockdown for Topsail High, Middle and Elementary schools was lifted about 9:30 a.m. local time when staff members were allowed to enter.

The school district said that parents who planned to drive their children to school should not do so.

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Authorities were alerted around 6:30 a.m., according to ABC11, The News & Observer's media partner. All other schools have returned to normal operations.