At about 10:30 p.m. Friday, the Sanderling apartment building, 616 W. College Ave., was evacuated after sprinklers flooded the building and the electrical service was damaged, said Jennifer Karch, who manages the property.
Karch said a sprinkler pipe on the second floor broke when two men were playing football and accidentally hit the pipe. The sprinklers were activated, causing water to flood the second floor apartments and flow down to the first floor and the basement, Karch said.
About 450 gallons of water flowed through the building and was eventually pumped out by the cleaning company, Karch said.
Steve Blair, fire director for the Alpha Fire Company, said when the water moved through the building it hit the electric service, causing the power to go out and forcing everyone in the building to evacuate.
“We typically handle flowing water as an emergency,” Blair said.
Blair said the first plan of action for the fire company was to shut off the water. They then stayed to help people move their furnishings and belongings, attempting to minimize the damage to the property, Blair said.
Before officials left at about 12:30 a.m., they assessed that the building was safe, he said.
Damage to the building included ruined ceiling tiles, carpet that will be torn up, hardwood floors that might be replaced, a ruined garage door panel and three ruined security panels, Karch said.
Ballyhoo Realty — who owns the building — is currently estimating the total costs of the damage and is asking residents to evaluate their damaged belongings to report to the insurance company, Karch said.
Though the electrical service was damaged, the elevator remained functional, Karch said.
The electric service was repaired on Saturday morning and residents returned to the building by 4 p.m. Saturday, Karch said. Though residents have returned, the clean-up process is ongoing, Karch said.
The building is home to 12 apartments with four to five residents in each apartment, Karch said. There was a party occurring in one of the apartments at the time of the incident, Karch said.
The two men who originally broke the pipe admitted to the act and are now speaking to the insurance company with Ballyhoo Realty, Karch said.
“They both came forward and told us that they did it,” Karch said.
The State College Police Department said they reported the incident to the apartment building at the time of the incident but nobody involved has been charged.