Pipe burst leads to early morning evacuation

A pipe burst in room 1002 early this morning in Johnson Hall, causing Temple police and firefighters to respond to an alarm which went off at 4:15 a.m., Deputy Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said.

Freshman biology major Ashley Rapp is one of the two students staying in room 1002 and said she noticed that a pipe in her room was making strange noises.

“I woke up and there was a screeching noise and I thought it was the air conditioner. I stepped in really hot water. I saw really dark brown water coming out of the vents,” Rapp said.

Rapp said she quickly moved the belongings under her bed off the floor and notified security and an on-duty resident assistant. Upon returning to her room, Rapp said the fire alarm was going off and quickly spread to the whole building. She said students quickly filled out of Johnson once the alarm sounded.

“The people on this floor were more concerned because they knew it was coming from this room. But the whole room turned from where you could see to where you couldn’t see anything,” Rapp said. “It was complete fog and steam.”

The fire sprinklers in the room did not go off, which Rapp said saved some of her personal belongings from being completely damaged. Rapp said that everything under her bed and her electronics received water damage.

Rapp said she was not sure if she would be compensated for the loss of her belongings. She said the Resident Director of Johnson Hall Megan Connelly would be working with her and maintenance to assess the amount of property that had been lost.

Connelly and Housing of Residential Life declined to comment on the incident.

“They said that it was alright to try to see if the TV worked and try the laptop and they tried to see if the electricity was secure to turn back on, “ Rapp said.

Rapp is communicating with Residential Life to inform them on how much damage their was to her belongings at which time she said they will “come in and check internally” to determine if she will receive compensation for her losses.

Rapp said that students were outside for no more than 30 minutes and then were allowed to go back into the building.

Rapp said that when repairs were made,she was told a cap had been worn down on the pipe, causing pressure and the pipe to burst out hot water and steam. Leone said engineers informed him that it was also due to previous water damage and was in no way the fault of the student. Though this was a serious incident, Leone said no students were injured and Temple officials had control over the situation.

Rapp has been given permission to safely return and stay in her room at this time.