January 31, 2003

Morrill Hall Soaked By Errant Sprinkler

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Waves gushed from the doors of Morrill Hall yesterday afternoon, sending a flood of sprinkler water onto the Arts Quad as students and faculty evacuated the building.

Most Cornellians were unsure how the problem originated as they watched Ithaca fire personnel enter the building in response to the pulled fire alarm.

Nox Connelly, emergency services specialist with Environmental Health and Safety, said the flooding was the result of a “malfunctioning sprinkler” in the southeast corner of the first floor.

Most of the damage was minor, with some floors and ceiling tiles being affected, according to Cornell University Police Department officer James Morrisset.

“The major issues are potentially damaged papers,” Connelly said. “You never know exactly what is damaged and how important it is right away.”

Students and faculty waited outside the building from about 4 to 4:20 p.m. as fire personnel turned off the sprinkler system and cleared the building. Activity returned to normal shortly afterward.

Archived article by Brian Kaviar