It was early Tuesday morning when the fire sprinkler system at Aspen Heights apartment complex, located at 1028 E. St. Louis St. erupted.

According to Aspen Heights Property Manager Whitney Cox, the pipes in the Building B stairwell burst at 1:15 a.m. due to freezing temperatures. The running water lasted for 5-10 minutes before the Springfield Fire Department arrived to shut the pipes off.

In total, eight units were impacted by “minimal” water damage, Cox said. As of 10:20 a.m. Tuesday, members of Aspen management were conducting assessments in each unit.

“All the water has been extracted from all of the units, and we’ve had commercial grade companies come out here and bring their fans and dehumidifiers,” Cox said. “All of the residents have been contacted; everyone is aware of the situation.”

The fans and dehumidifiers will remain in place for 3-5 days. Employers who work for the company that installed the appliances and a member of Aspen management will check on residents once a day, Cox said.

Shamyah Randle, sophomore public relations major, lives in one of the impacted units on the first floor of Building B.

Randle said she was woken up by the fire alarms before exiting her unit to see the sprinklers going off in the hallway. Randle and her roommate made their way to the office lobby to converse with other residents.

“I went (back to my unit) and I was literally stepping in puddles going back,” Randle said. “It was not good at all. I was going to go back to the office, but when I went back outside the whole hallway was frozen, so I just had to come right back inside.”

As of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, the hallway outside of Randle’s unit was still frozen.

Fortunately, Randle and her roommate did not experience any water damages, despite water entering their unit. According to Randle, members of Aspen’s maintenance team visited their unit four times over the course of the morning to mop up the water.

Randle said communication from the Aspen team has been consistent and informative via the Aspen resident Facebook group and text message.

“All management at Aspen takes all residents and any type of situation seriously,” Cox said. “We are here for them. We’re just trying to be here if they need anything. We are here to serve them.”

Cox said any residents with questions should call the Aspen office at 417-201-4593.


Follow Greta Cross on Twitter, @gretacrossphoto

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