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Overnight flood forces out hundreds of southeast Calgary condo residents

Click to play video: 'Calgary condo residents forced to leave their homes after burst sprinkler soaks apartments' Calgary condo residents forced to leave their homes after burst sprinkler soaks apartments
WATCH: About 200 residents of the Legacy Gate condo complex in Calgary were forced from their homes Wednesday morning, awoken by alarms and water rushing throughout the building. As Lauren Pullen reports, condo officials say a primary sprinkler line burst – Dec 8, 2021

Hundreds of residents of a condominium building in southeast Calgary were forced out of their homes after a massive flood overnight.

The flood happened in the Legacy neighbourhood. A rooftop in sprinkler line burst, flooding the four-storey building, which has about 100 units in it.

Flooding at the Legacy Gate Condominiums in southeast Calgary on Wednesday. Courtesy: Krista Wilkie

“Fire crews responded about 2:30 a.m. … for a report of a general fire alarm,” Al Kozicki with the Calgary Fire Department said Wednesday.

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“When they arrived, they found water had gone from the top floor all the way to the bottom floor from a suspected sprinkler system leak.”

Flooding at the Legacy Gate Condominiums in southeast Calgary on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Courtesy: Krista Wilkie

The CFD said about 200 people have been displaced from the Legacy Gate Condominiums at the 8100 block of Legacy Blvd SE.

“We started knocking on doors, making sure everyone was alright. They were able to get out,” Kozicki said.

Residents at the scene told Global News most of the units were occupied by owners, but some were also rented out to tenants.

Click to play video: 'Sprinkler system malfunction flood forces out hundreds of south Calgary condo residents' Sprinkler system malfunction flood forces out hundreds of south Calgary condo residents
Sprinkler system malfunction flood forces out hundreds of south Calgary condo residents – Dec 8, 2021

Drew Novak lives on the first floor of the building.

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“I kind of woke up at 2:30 in the morning to the alarm going off and look out the window of my bedroom and saw a waterfall of water coming down outside,” he said.

“There were people coming out of the building with suitcases, TVs, picture frames — everything. It was a big eye opener, kind of kicked me into emergency mode.”

Resident Brett Powell said instead of evacuating the building right away, he started to try to catch the water to mitigate the damage.

“But it kept coming and got worse and worse as it came in the hallway. When I actually looked out the hallway to leave the space, I saw that it was pretty much a lake.”

Flooding at the Legacy Gate Condominiums in southeast Calgary on Wednesday. Courtesy: Krista Wilkie

Mariana Ferreira said she was up late watching TV when she heard an alarm and went to check the hallway and saw water pouring out of sprinklers and lights.

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Then she and her boyfriend spotted the water coming from the ceiling into their bedroom closet.

“It was a lot… we were completely soaked — I was soaked. It seemed like I just came out of the shower. It was like it was raining,” she said.

“Everything was just wet. My paperwork, my passport, everything. It was terrible. Pretty much everything is ruined and most of the things that I have I’ll have to get rid of.”

It’s the latest blow for the couple. Both had recently been laid off from their jobs and found out their dog is very sick.

“It is upsetting, especially knowing that I have to let go of so much stuff,” she added. “It’s terrible. You don’t think this is going to happen.“

Roman Kozubskya couldn’t believe what he was seeing when his wife Anna woke him up to show him the water coming out of the lights.

“A little bit, slowly, slowly, then it was high pressure, like in a car wash. Same pressure,” Roman said.

The couple is already looking for a new apartment, hoping to still be able to give their three-year-old daughter a happy Christmas.

“The worst part is we don’t have tenants insurance,” said Anna.

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“And the owner of the building is also frustrated. He’s never been in this kind of situation, doesn’t know what to tell me. Give me some help, you know? We’re both in a bad situation.”

Several agencies have been called in to help displaced residents.

“We activated CEMA (Calgary Emergency Management Agency), we have Red Cross as well. Transit brought us some busses for displaced people and that’s what we’re working on right now,” Kozicki said at the scene Wednesday.

So far, no injuries have been reported.
A condo board representative told reporters Wednesday afternoon they had recently received complaints about the heating system not working properly.

He said while they don’t believe it’s related to the sprinkler line rupture, it will be part of the investigation into the cause.

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