Cabot D Entryway Evacuated After Pipe Bursts

Six rooms in Cabot House’s D entryway were evacuated around midnight Thursday morning after a burst pipe flooded room D-41.

According to messages sent to the House email list, the water headed downward to rooms D-31, D-21, and D-11, causing more than 10 students to move to friends’ rooms for the night. It is unclear what caused the sprinkler pipe to burst.

Richard Y. Ebright ’14 of D-41 was typing on his computer when he heard a loud bang coming from the sprinkler closet in the hallway of his suite. Two of his roommates then noticed that water had built up in the locked closet and flooded into the hall, even seeping from the top of the door frame.

“[G]allons upon gallons of brown water flooded over the top of the pipes closet” Ebright wrote in an email to the Cabot open list at the time of the incident.

Ebright and his roommates sought help from House personnel to turn off the water while the fire alarm went off in their suite. Ebright also noted that maintenance staff had been working on the fire alarm system in the closet on Wednesday afternoon.

Campus maintenance personnel responded to the scene by draining the water from the closet and setting out fans to dry the affected rooms.

Emails from students offering pillows, blankets, and couch space bombarded the House email list.

The evacuated students were able to return and retrieve valuables at about 9:30 a.m. after an inspector checked the rooms, according to an email from Cabot Resident Dean Jill Constantino to the House list. At 10:30 a.m., affected students were permitted to move back in.

Though the extent of the damage will be unclear until students examine the rest of their belongings, Constantino explained that firefighters were able to minimize damage by picking up things from the flooding floor when they first walked through the rooms.

Ebright’s roommate Jaehyuk You ’14, who had gone to bed before he was woken by the sound of the alarm, said Thursday afternoon that they did not suffer much property damage from the flooding. You, a Crimson editor, said he blocked the entrance to his room with a towel to prevent further flooding inward.

“[I]t seems that we weren’t hit too bad,” Constantino wrote in an email to The Crimson.

“Cabot was great, taking back the title of Fish Bowl from Currier,” she added, reflecting on the quick response of the Cabot students who had offered the evacuees a place to stay.

—Staff writer Xi Yu can be reached at xyu@college.harvard.edu.

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