A sprinkler in Bursley Hall caused water damage in the dormitory late Friday night and displaced some residents for the night.
One sprinkler toward the west end of the fourth floor of Van Duren hall within Bursley was triggered at about 9:30 p.m., several witnesses reported.
Bursley was evacuated until around 10 p.m. after the fire alarm went off. Witnesses reported that residents of Lewis and Van Duren houses, which are on the east side of Bursley, were not allowed to return to their rooms when the rest of the dormitory was let back in. Workers were cleaning the affected rooms and parts of the hallway have been closed off.
Officials held a meeting with residents at around 10:30 p.m. in the Blue Apple lounge in Bursley and confirmed that a sprinkler had gone off and was not malfunctioning. Residents who live in affected rooms were called in pairs to go to their rooms with an escort and collect some of their belongings. Those who live in affected rooms were being advised to leave as quickly as possible due to electricity and water concerns.
Displaced residents either found someone to stay with or were provided with housing.
Affected students were told that their rooms may be inhabitable as soon as Saturday but that they should pack enough belongings to last until Monday as a worst-case scenario.
Residents of the fifth and sixth floor were not affected by the water damage. Residents of the unaffected rooms on the third and fourth floors were allowed to return but were advised not to sleep there, as the clean-up process would involve noisy equipment and high-powered fans.
Witnesses reported that several rooms had water in them, which ranged from only a few drops to more than an inch or two. They also reported that the third and fourth floors had “lakes” in the hallway, which were about an inch deep.
One resident said the hallway “smells like shit” and that the water sitting in the hallway is black. Walter Lin, the resident adviser of third Lewis in Bursley, said that the water might have fire retardant material in it and is black because it has been sitting in the residence hall’s pipes for a long time.
Third floor resident Carillon Skrzynski, whose room was affected by the flood said that she was very unhappy and somewhat angry. She said she just wanted the whole episode to be over as soon as possible.
Jacqueline Wilton, who lives on the fourth floor, said that though her room was not affected by the flooding, she is displaced for the night. She said she is both tired and mad but happy that her belongings are fine.
When contacted early Saturday morning, the DPS official on-duty didn’t have any information yet on the water damage.