Pipe burst because of cool air pocket

Analicia Haynes, Online Editor

By Analicia Haynes

Online Editor | @DEN_News

A pipe burst in the hallway dividing the Thomas Hall lobby and dining hall Sunday afternoon after a cool air pocket caused the pipe to freeze and break.

Mark Hudson, the director of housing and dining, said 600 gallons of water comes out a minute when the sprinkler system takes effect. He said the sprinkler did its job.

Hudson said the challenge with some parts of the building, the hallway in particular, is that they are exposed to extreme outside temperatures.

That is what happened in the case of the broken pipe, he said.

Damage was sustained in two rooms. Several tiles on the ceiling in the hallway have water damage.

Hudson said the carpet needed to be extracted and dried in the two rooms. One of the rooms was just a “show room” and the other housed two residents, who were temporarily moved while their room was cleaned.

Hudson said a new pipe was already put in and the sprinkler system will be operational by Tuesday.

“(The cleanup) went fine,” Hudson said, adding that everyone involved responded quickly. “It’s always a good team effort.”

Hudson said every year, the university pays an outside company to test the various emergency systems including the sprinkler system. Resident assistants also make sure to check all smoke detectors so there is always ongoing maintenance and upkeep.

“The safety of the residents is our number one concern,” Hudson said.

While the fire department was cleaning up the water, Laura Trombley, the resident director, said she stayed calm during the situation.

Trombley said by staying calm she is able to assess every detail in order to make an informed decision.


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].