A torrent of water smashed through a road and rushed down surrounding streets causing a flood a foot deep and thousands of pounds of damage.
Startled neighbours awoke to a very unlucky Friday the 13th as the lake seeped into their homes after a pipe burst in a slip road in Yeading Lane, Northolt.
The water rushed down Wells Close and Dilston Close where it rose to more than a foot in places, as well as Beauvais Terrace where it lapped the curb.
Anthony Lodge, 69, of Dilston Close, saw it happen at about 5am, he said: "The road was damp and then all of a sudden it came gushing down, littering the road with rubble and dirt.
"I phoned the fire brigade and they were here within no time, they put up an inflatable barrier at the end of the road to divert the water and blocked it from coming into my home. I only had a few inches of water at the front of the house thanks to them."
Others were not so lucky, neighbour Kenneth Carpenter, 75, said: "The water came through the front door and flooded the entire ground floor.
"I was able to get to my car and drive it around the corner just in time.
"It's a shock but it's one of those things. Now we just have to get on with cleaning up the mess."
Three Valleys Water are investigating the cause, an employee at the scene said: "Sometimes they just blow, it could be traffic movement or the recent weather conditions."