Jack Bradshaw is one of the 34 tenants evacuated from Glen Arbor on Monday, Feb. 3 after the attic sprinkler system ruptured. The same thing happened two weeks ago on Sunday, Jan. 19, and in December 2018. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Ruptured sprinkler system forces Glen Arbor residents to evacuate for the third time

The sprinkler system burst in December 2018 and two weeks ago on Sunday, Jan. 19

Three times is not a charm for residents living at a seniors housing complex in Williams Lake who were forced out due to a sprinkler system rupture Monday just before dinner.

It is the third time it’s happened since December 2018.

On Feb. 3 at around 4:40 p.m. pipes in the attic burst in Glen Arbor on Oliver Street, flooding areas of the building and forcing the evacuation of all 34 residents.

Building manager Miles Faulkner said the sprinkler system broke in the north end in 2018, at the south end two weeks ago on Jan. 19, and this time it burst in the middle of the attic.

Read more: Burst sprinkler system pipe forces evacuation at Glen Arbor Sunday in Williams Lake

Some of the residents had just moved in last week after the Jan. 19 incident, he confirmed.

“Maybe there is a problem with the original installation? Maybe it’s defective piping?” Faulkner said as he was busy moving his office into another room because his was water damaged. “It’s all just speculation at this point. Nobody knows.”

Tenants will not be allowed to move back in until the building is properly protected, he said.

“All the sprinkler systems in the suites work, but the attic sprinkler system doesn’t work because it’s broken so without that we don’t have the proper protection if there is a fire.”

Each time there’s been a flood, it’s been stressful for tenants, Faulkner said.

“They have to get up and leave everything they own — it’s really hard for them.”

Jack Bradshaw has lived in the building since it opened in 2004 and stopped by Tuesday afternoon to pick up a few belongings.

He said he was getting ready to go out for dinner on Monday with a friend when the alarm in the building went off and a message came over the intercom telling tenants not to use the elevator.

Most of the people living in the building are in their 90s, he added.

“One woman across the hall from me is turning 95 today — Feb. 4. I have a card for her and everything but it’s in my room and she is staying at the Coast Fraser Inn.”

Bradshaw’s suite is OK this time but in 2018 he was out four months.

“I’ve been saying they need to change all the pipes,” he said. “They will figure it out, but they’ve got to put an end to this. I’m tired of it.”

The Williams Lake Fire Department assisted with the evacuation.

“Duty Chief Rob Warnock responded at 4:43 p.m. and once on scene realized the magnitude of the leak and that residents would need to be evacuated,” Chief Erick Peterson said.

Warnock requested additional firefighters and two trucks with 12 members arrived to assist residents in collecting belongings and relocating to local hotels.

“As always, the WLFD were happy to assist,” Peterson added.

Read more: Opal Street home destroyed by fire Sunday


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Back to school: District 27 workforce to provide critical support during COVID-19 pandemic

Superintendent Chris van der Mark said he hopes the district can be a source of calm for communities

Triage tent being set up at 100 Mile District General Hospital

This will keep patient with respiratory symptoms away from patients with other health concerns

100 Mile RCMP: Man found passed out with air soft handgun by first responders

The suspect is in the custody of the 100 Mile RCMP at this time

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSARA manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

COVID-19: Here are the measures being taken at B.C. care homes

Only essential visits allowed to people in long-term care facilities across the province

Most Read