Fire sprinkler system soaks apartment units

By Tony E. Windsor

Residents of a Seaford housing complex were forced out of their homes after a fire sprinkler system soaked several units in one building and jeopardized the buildings electrical system. According to the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department, fire fighters responded to an alarm at the Hampton Circle housing complex at 600 Hampton Circle, Seaford, at about 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Fire Department spokesman Ron Marvel said that while there was no sign of fire, an alarm in a residence on the third floor of the apartment building went off causing the fire sprinkler system to activate. Were not sure if there was actually a fire, or just excessive heat that caused the alarm to go off, but the system did what it was supposed to do and sent a mess of water throughout the building, he said.

Unfortunately for some residents, their apartment units were literally soaked by the fire sprinkler system, which in traditional conditions would minimize the fire damage in the event of an actual fire. Marvel said the water was shut off, but not before it had flooded living units, hallways and a lobby area. He said at least two of the housing units affected were expected to undergo extensive renovations due to water damage.

Because the water had also permeated the buildings electrical system, the power was shut off until electricians could respond and ensure there was no additional threat.

Due to water damage and the lack of power, residents were forced out of the building and shelter was made available at the Seaford Days Inn.

The displaced residents were expected to be able to stay at the Days Inn through Thursday, Jan. 23.

Hampton Circle management declined to comment about the fire sprinkler incident or the status of displaced residents.

Hampton Circle opened in Seaford in November 2012. It is a 35-unit rental apartment complex for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. The complex was built with $1.5 million in funding from the Delaware State Housing Authority.

According to HUD, Hampton Circles three-story complex is the first affordable high rise in Seaford. Hampton Circle is one of several communities that Better Homes of Seaford has provided for seniors.

The other one-story complexes include Yorktowne Woods, Williamsburg Manor and Virginia Crest Village.

News tips wanted
Call us with ideas for news and features. We're always looking for good stories to share with readers. Call Bryant Richardson at 629-9788.