Residents evacuated after water pipe burst floods Mississauga high-rise
National Post
Aileen Donnelly
07 April 2011

Residents of a condominium complex in Mississauga have been forced to leave their homes after a water pipe burst Thursday morning, flooding the building with boiling hot water, and damaging the electrical system.

Shortly after 5 a.m., Mississauga Fire crews and Peel Regional Police responded to alarm bells at 4080 Living Arts Drive, near the Square One Shopping Centre. On the sixth floor of the building, they found that a four-inch pressurized hot water line in the hallway had burst and water was rapidly flowing into suites on the sixth floor and seeping into units below.

“(The water pipe) was inside the wall, in the hallway, but it burst right into an apartment, through the drywall. It was like a mini explosion through the wall,” said Platoon Chief Alan Hills.

Some of the residents sustained injuries, but none were life threatening. A woman on the sixth floor suffered first degree burns on her feet, police said. She was taken to Mississauga Trillium Hospital for treatment and is expected to recover. A second woman experienced chest pains and was treated at the scene.

Two cats died in one of the units on the sixth floor when a 17-inch-high wall of water crashed into the suite, Hills said.

A pregnant woman, who was one week overdue, started having contractions after the pipe burst and was trapped above the flooded floors. Firefighters carried the woman down 23 flights of stairs and she was taken to a local hospital where she is doing well, police said.

The power went out on floors one through five due to the flooding and the electricity was subsequently cut to the whole building because the water damage has compromised the electrical system, Platoon Chief Hills said.

Electricians are on the scene attempting to dry out the electrical conduits but officials do not know how long it will take before power can be restored.

Earlier, fire crews successfully evacuated floors one through six and have disconnected the water supply until the pipe is repaired. Platoon Chief Hill said plumbers are on the scene now, but it’s hard to say how long it will take.

Officials have not yet determined what caused the sudden pipe burst.

“It looks like this was an accidental rupture. At this time, we don’t have an explanation for it. Normally, when something like this happens, it would happen in the winter — when we go from sudden cooling, to heating, and back again — but it didn’t occur this way. Plus, this was an inside pipe not an outside pipe,” Platoon Chief Hill said.

“This will be a big loss for the apartment building and for the residents,” Platoon Chief Hill said. “The water damage is significant that it could cost up to $1-million.”

Three days later fire and emergency back-up systems, electricity and elevators were back in service and heating was back on from the seventh floor and above, where residents were allowed back in.

This was a new 30 story condo across the street from Square One. Unexpected problems can happen in new buildings as well as older ones.

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