Sprinklers, pipes fail across Boston

Flooded basement at 99 Bay State Rd. in Boston

Ladder floats in flooded basement of MIT frat on Bay State Road. Photo by BFD.

From downtown office towers to apartments across the city, Boston firefighters were kept busy tonight dealing with sprinkler systems failing under the onslaught of cold temperatures.

Firefighters went floor to floor in the 33-story 44 Federal St. tonight, ordering all unnecessary workers out of the building after they shut the entire building's sprinkler system due to a leak.

Around the same time, firefighters responded to the Vault Restaurant, on the appropriately named Water Street, for a burst pipe feeding sprinklers in that building.

Shortly after 6 p.m., firefighters evacuated 50 residents of a Pine Street Inn building at 82 Green St. in Jamaica Plain, a facility run by the Pine Street Inn, when, the department reports:

A sprinkler pipe on the 3rd floor let go causing water damage to all floors and the basement. Sections of ceiling gave way.

Around 10:30 p.m., firefighters responding to a report of a basement water leak at Lamboa Chi Alpha, an MIT fraternity at 99 Bay State Rd., found 10 feet of water in the basement. Ten students in the frat were evacuated.

Shana Sissel reports a pipe burst in her apartment building at 225 Northern Ave. in the Seaport district.

BFD reports that as of 9:15 p.m., its crews have responded to 75 "water leak incidents" across the city over the past 48 hours.

That was even as firefighters were responding to the YWCA, 140 Clarendon St., where flooding on the fourth floor shorted out some power strips.

And not long after that, calls came in for more leaks, in buildings in the South End, Brighton and Mattapan.

NECN weatherman Matt Noyes says:

If pipes are frozen in an infrastructure, the ice is now holding it together. Melting can bring more leaks than freezing.

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