A homeowner has hailed fire crews as “miracle workers” after saving his home from flooding.

Thousands of homes in the Mid Sussex area lost water supplies after a burst main near Burgess Hill Rugby Club in Poveys Close.

With water pouring out of a four-foot crater and towards his house, Richard Murray rushed home from work to see fire crews furiously pumping the torrent away from his home.

He said the filthy fluid, which poured from a main about 500 yards away, was a centimetre away from bursting into his hall.

Mr Murray, 45, of Woodpecker Crescent, Burgess Hill, who works in Lloyds bank in Haywards Heath, said: “I was actually giving a presentation at work when I received a call from my son.

“We were really really lucky.

“I cannot thank the fire crews enough. They were absolutely amazing, complete miracle workers.”

Saved from danage

Fire crews told Mr Murray there may be some smell where water got into the air duct but carpets and the family’s possessions were saved from damage.

The incident took place in Southway Recreation Ground at about 10am yesterday (December 6).

Householders in Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks and Burgess Hill all reported problems with their connection.

West Sussex County Council confirmed three schools in the area – Southway Junior in Southway; Gattons Infant School in Royal George Road; and St Wilfrid’s Primary, School Lane – were closed.

A spokeswoman for South East Water said: “Our technicians stopped the burst and rerouted the water supply. All affected properties in the area, had their water supplies back on by 11.30am.

The Argus: The hole where the burst main came up

A hole in grounds of Burgess Hill Rugby Club

"There may still be some customers experiencing low water pressure.

“We are now working to repair the pipe itself and clear up after the burst.

“We would like to apologise to the local community for the inconvenience this burst has caused and thank them for their patience.”

A spokesman for Mid Sussex District Council said South East Water would carry out the repair work to the recreation ground.

See the latest news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Follow @brightonargus

The Argus: Daily Echo on Facebook - facebook.com/southerndailyecho Like us on Facebook

The Argus: Google+ Add us to your circles on Google+