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Sprinkler busts at White Oak on Tuesday

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

MORRIS – The cold temperatures caused a sprinkler head or pipe to bust Tuesday afternoon at White Oak Elementary School.

The incident, which occurred a little before 3 p.m., caused the fire alarm to go off so students and staff in the building were evacuated for a short time, said Superintendent Teri Shaw, but once on scene Chief Tracey Steffes of the Morris Fire Protection and Ambulance District quickly gave permission for everyone to head back inside.

Whether it was a sprinkler head or pipe was not clear as of about 4 p.m., Steffes said. The incident occurred in the main vestibule of White Oak, which caused water to leak into the front hallways, the library and the main office. No one was in the vestibule when the break occurred, Shaw said.

Shaw said the city was bringing out a salt truck to salt the front of the school to help stop ice from forming where a lot of the water leaked.

Maintenance staff was going to be in the building Tuesday evening to shampoo the carpets and continue to dry out the building.

"The damage won't be terrible because of the forgiving materials," Steffes said.

He gave a preliminary estimate of about $5,000 work of damage since he said the carpets can likely be saved.

Morris police were on scene to help route traffic since fire trucks were at the building when school was letting out, Shaw said.

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