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Developer says faulty sprinkler likely culprit for condo flooding in Kelowna

Building developer says exact cause of condo flooding is still under investigation, but a fault in the fire suppression system is the likely culprit.
Building developer says exact cause of condo flooding is still under investigation, but a fault in the fire suppression system is the likely culprit. Jules Knox / Global News

A faulty sprinkler was the likely cause of flooding inside a condominium at UBC Okanagan earlier this month, according to the building developer.

On Feb. 4, a sprinkler pipe burst on the top floor of the U-Two building on Academy Way in Kelowna, resulting in flooding throughout the four-storey condo. The resulting water damage forced the building’s complete evacuation for repair work.

Several UBCO students were living in the building at the time.

READ MORE: Some UBC Okanagan students flooded out of homes

“The fire alarm turned on. I didn’t know exactly what happened, so I looked out my eyehole and I just saw water near the elevator shaft,” UBCO student Sayhanyo Saha told Global News earlier this month.

“The water was all the way to the ground and then we were taking our brooms with a bunch of other people who were living on the floor and [sweeping] the water down the stairs that way,” said UBCO student Sahej Mangat.

The company, Mission Group, said U-Two was completed in 2016 in two phases, U-Two East and U-Two West. The water damage took place in U-Two West, with 56 privately owned condos being affected.

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WATCH BELOW (Aired Feb. 16, 2019) UBCO students forced to find new homes after flooding

UBCO students forced to find new homes after flooding
UBCO students forced to find new homes after flooding

“A failure of the fire-suppression system in an area of the fourth floor at U-Two appears to have caused the flooding,” Mission Group said in a press release on Friday.

“The exact cause of the failure is still under investigation and Mission Group continues to cooperate wherever possible in order to bring a resolution to this situation.”

Mission Group added “we feel deep sympathy for the student tenants and homeowners who have been displaced — we are doing everything we can to help them. In particular, we are sensitive to those who may not have the resources to find alternate accommodation easily.”

Mission Group says it has opened a telephone hotline for U-Two tenants with housing needs. Mission Group said tenants and owners can contact Teresa Sommerfeld at 250-448-0358 or tsommerfeld@missiongroup.ca.