Water damage at Hoover House
News · March 02, 2012

A section of the ground floor of the Hoover House received minor water damage Feb. 18 when a heater triggered a sprinkler system, police said.

West Branch Police Chief Mike Horihan said that workers set up a “torpedo-type” propane heater to dry refinished floors.

“It set off the sprinklers and that set off the alarm,” he said.

But the West Branch Fire Department was on the scene within four minutes to shut off the sprinkler, limiting the damage.

Horihan said that there was no actual fire — he thinks sanding and varnish will remedy the damage — but the sprinkler may have prevented one. The sprinklers were activated in the kitchen and a front room on the main floor, but did not activate upstairs in the apartment area or downstairs.

“Thank goodness they put in a sprinkler system,” he said. “It could have been catastrophic.”

The fire alarm was triggered at about 6:53 a.m. Feb. 18, he said, and co-owner Beth Erickson responded.

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