UPDATED: Guffey evacuated after damaged sprinkler leads to drenched dorms

A wet floor sign in the lobby of Guffey Hall the day after the water damage.
Photo by Matt Hampton.

MITCHELL KRAUS Editor-in-Chief

Guffey Hall was evacuated Thursday evening after a sprinkler head was damaged, causing the fire alarm and sprinkler system to go off, according to an email obtained by Lindenlink.

According to the email sent to residents by area coordinator Holly Zieger at 8:38 p.m., the sprinkler head was damaged at approximately 6:30 p.m. Residents were evacuated, and at the time of the email were only permitted back in the building “with a staff escort to grab your most essential items.”

Jeffery Cramer, the supervisor of field operations for maintenance and housekeeping, said that the sprinkler head was damaged by accident when some students were moving furniture inside of a dorm room.  

Carpet being removed on the second floor of Guffey Hall the day after the water damage.
Photo by Matt Hampton.

Campus security worked with the fire department and CATCO, a restoration company, to secure the building and clear the water. 

A second email from Zieger at 10:10 p.m. cleared residents to return to their rooms.

“Please be mindful of the cleaning crew and equipment as you make your way in,” the email read. 

James Schneider, a junior who lives in a third floor room next to the one where the sprinkler was broken, ended up sleeping on a couch in the lobby of Guffey because his room was soaked.  He said Lindenwood is trying to find spaces in other dorms for those students who were affected the most.

“My nightstand was ruined,” Schneider said. “So was my textbook.”

He said there are currently two giant fans and a dehumidifier in his room. 

Cleaning crews were still present in the building Friday morning. It is not clear how long restoration will take.

Attempts to reach the area coordinator’s office and other members of the maintenance staff for comment were not successful. Community advisers were instructed not to comment on the story or share photographs.

Lindenlink Sports Editor Matt Hampton, a Guffey resident not directly impacted by the incident, also contributed to this story.  

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About Mitchell Kraus 60 Articles
Mitch is the BIG DAWG, our editor-in-chief. He works on general assignments and helps with video production. In Mitch's free time when he isn't watching movies, he does digital media freelance for a small company in St. Louis that sells mini bikes. When we asked Mitch if he's in any clubs on campus, he said: "insert the 'ain't nobody got time for that' meme," but when he's not in the journalism lab he likes to hang out in the LARC even though he misses Butler Library.