Sprinkler systems save Wright Hall’s ninth floor

Christina Stavale

The laundry room on the 9th floor of Wright Hall was temporarily closed to clear damage from the minor flood resulting from sprinklers set off by a microwave fire. Jim Zentmeyer, associate director for administrative operations, said the sprinklers worked

Credit: Jason Hall

A fire alarm in Wright Hall sounded around 2:15 a.m. yesterday after a trash can in the ninth-floor laundry room caught on fire because of high-temperature microwave contents. Sprinklers in the room went off to put out the fire.

As a result, water leaked into the rest of the hallway and into some of the rooms, said Jim Zentmeyer, associate director for administrative operations. Also, some water leaked onto the eighth floor.

“Everything worked just as it should have,” Zentmeyer said. “It could’ve been much worse if the sprinkler system had not gone off.”

He said the flooding was necessary in order to extinguish the fire. The night housekeeping staff cleaned up the water on the floor, and resident assistants also helped out. Zentmeyer said he was pleased with everyone who was willing to help take care of the situation.

“For student employees, they did a super job,” Zentmeyer said.

Matt Gustoff, freshman accounting major and ninth floor resident, said all Wright Hall residents were kept outside until about 3:30 a.m. Ninth floor residents had to wait until around 4:45 to re-enter the building, he said.

Gustoff said water about two inches deep covered most of his room and his roommate’s X-Box system may have been damaged from the water. The rug in his room was also soaked.

Zentmeyer said housekeeping staff is taking care of cleaning and drying any laundry and carpets damaged because of the water. If any other items were damaged as a result of the sprinklers, he said students should look to their home insurance.

“Generally speaking, if there is a personal loss, home insurance will cover that,” he said.

Gustoff said no one has yet confessed to the cause of the accident. Though the fire caused some inconveniences, he said the situation was handled well.

“The maintenance did a good job,” he said. “Things like this happen.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].