High-rise flooded, residents evacuated

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Residents of a downtown high-rise were evacuated after a sprinkler pipe burst, sending thousands of gallons of water through apartments.

It happened Thursday morning at the Multi-Ethnic Senior Housing building near 100 South and 200 West. Some apartments had a foot of water; others got off with little damage.

"No, not mine. I was lucky. Just a couple wet spots where it seeped under the carpet," said resident Joe Wick.

In other parts of the building, the water cascaded down through several floors, causing varying amounts of damage. One man described being soaked by water coming down through his ceiling. "I'm all wet because I was trying to mop it up," said James Easter.

"It was a little bit scary," Easter continued. "I wasn't worried about anything going to happen to us, it's just the scary part of being wet and how much damage there is going to be."

The water originated from a 13th floor broken sprinkler pipe. Responding firefighters used squeegees to push the water out through a stairwell.

They said it'll most likely be a few days before the flooded residents can go back in. Salt Lake City fire Capt. Danny Sorensen said some disabled people could not be evacuated. "We just protected them in place," he said.

One resident said the pipe that broke was severely corroded. Salt Lake Fire couldn't confirm that but did say that it wasn't the sprinkler head that snapped; it was the pipe attached to the fixture that broke.

Fire officials couldn't put a dollar figure on the amount of damage. They say the worst-hit apartments could be days away from being reoccupied.


Story compiled with contributions from Ben Winslow and Nicole Gonzales.


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