Broken sprinkler results in evacuation of Aspen Grove residents

Residents return home

PINEDALE – All residents of the Aspen Grove Apartments were able to return to their facilities by Monday evening following an evacuation caused by a broken sprinkler censor.

According to Aspen Grove general housekeeper Laura Hayward, very little damage occurred with some paint and finish on the ceilings needing repaired. Eight of the apartment facilities, 32 units had water damage resulting in three couples spending the night in a motel courtesy of the Pinedale Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Hayward said most of the water was in the hallway when the barrage from sprinklers occurred. The water went under resident’s doors as squeegees were used to sweep water from the halls.

Firefighters were dispatched Sunday mid-morning when residents reported that it was raining inside.

Sublette County Maintenance Superintendent Andre Irey said the water came from a broken sprinkler at the independent living apartments for senior citizens.

He said most of the afflicted apartments had been dried out and by noon Monday and he was preparing to restore power to two apartments.

“I didn’t feel comfortable leaving power on in a couple of apartments,” Irey said. An electrician was on site Monday to ensure the power could be turned back on after water was reported running from light fixtures.

Trudy Billeb, a volunteer for the Pinedale Red Cross, said she responded Sunday about noon and made arrangements for three couples to stay in a local motel. She said others had water in their apartments, but either chose to stay or stayed with family members in the area.

Hayward said the first responders were incredible and responded immediately. She said there was a firefighter assigned to each resident who was displaced to help them pack and move, as well as clean up. In addition, staff conducted regular walk-throughs until the sprinkler system was fixed Sunday night to ensure the safety of residents who stayed in their apartments.

Billeb said 10 local Red Cross volunteers are always on call in Sublette County to help people stranded by weather or following an accident, such as the broken sprinkler.

Volunteer Trudy Fry, who has been with the local chapter since it was chartered, said the local Red Cross isn’t called on often, but is always looking for volunteers to help. A majority of training is conducted on-line.



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