Last night (December 29th)about 2200 hours I was in the kitchen, my 9 yr old son (sitting in front of the TV in the living room) says Dad the lights in the bed room are popping and flickering...my 12 yr old daughter comes out of her bed room and says the lights went out in her bed room.
           I go into my Bed room and the Lights went out in there also. Amy (my wife) yells to me the smoke detector is popping.  While I'm in my bed room, I notice the floor near the closet is all wet. I tell the wife to start cleaning the closet out so I can get to the hot water heater. I then check out the smoke detector, I hear it pop, and sizzle (???) thinking, that's weird!!!, I start to open it up , and its HOT...the wall its mounted to is hot....I find a screw driver, and pull it off the wall, and the wires going to it are glowing like in a toaster oven,( no joke and no exaggeration) I tell Amy to start killing the breakers.
            All the wires behind the Smoke detector are melted together and the wire nuts melted off. It must have been (this) close to catching fire and I mean the wires were Too Hot to hold, even the plastic junction box in the wall was very hot!  
           Now the Bed Room closet? I open up the wall and the Hot water Heater burst and hot water was pouring out the top of the tank (Hmm...This is very odd). The cold water in  and Hot water out are located on the side of the water heater and not the top, so if they were leaking, water would run down the side, but the weld in the top of the tank burst !  I noticed the water is pouring out the control access port where the thermostat is, and is shorting out the heater....
          Now, Cause or coincidence? The lights and smoke detector are 115 volts and are on a completely different circuit breaker than the 220 volt Hot water heater. The smoke detector never went off because the wires that shorted in the wall burnt off the plug to the detector!  Now does this make me the luckiest person to find this before the house caught fire in the middle of the night , while all was sleeping ?!?!, or unlucky, because I need to have someone cover my shift, Loose pay, and repair everything that went bad !!!!  Hmm, I guess it all a matter of perspective....but either way, I'm thanking GOD, my family is safe and I still have a house!!!   ...  
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        (il),-''  (li),'  ((!.-                 Harry Keil