Widgets Magazine

Storey sprinkler displaces residents, damages rooms

A sprinkler went off in Storey House shortly before 1 a.m. Monday morning, flooding several rooms and displacing all 52 residents for the night. Nine students will be temporarily relocated until their rooms are repaired.

Stanford Daily File Photo

Firefighters arrived at the scene and prohibited residents from returning to their rooms, even to pick up possessions, because of potential electrical problems caused by the flooding. A fire watch was implemented until the sprinkler system could be fully emptied. After an electrician visited the house, several residents on the first floor were able to pick up possessions but not sleep inside the house.

“We didn’t know what we were being evacuated for,” Storey Resident Assistant Elena Higuchi ’13 said. “Initially, we thought a fire was going on but a lot of the residents who witnessed that original flooding were the ones who told us what had happened.”

A cleanup crew from Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE) worked on the house overnight, reopening it slightly after 8:30 a.m. that same morning.

The sprinkler went off in a single room on the third floor and water, which one resident described as dirty and murky, seeped down into two rooms below the original room and into adjacent third floor rooms.

Most residents were able to find alternate sleeping arrangements for the night. Storey’s staff was also in contact with Stanford Housing to provide rooms and bedding to residents who required it. Muwekma-tah-Ruk, the Native American themed house directly across the street from Storey, opened its lounge areas for any residents who needed housing for the night.

By 3 a.m., all residents had either found housing or had received information from staff members about alternate housing locations. About a dozen staff members and residents braved the cold for several hours at the benches outside of Storey while the Palo Alto Fire Department worked inside the house. Most students stayed in friends’ rooms, with two staying in the Lasuen guest rooms and others sleeping on mattresses and linens set up in the Bob House lounge. Storey House kitchen reopened in time for breakfast Monday morning.

The nine students who will not be able to return to their rooms for several days are being housed in Lasuen and in a cottage in Suites, according to Higuchi.

Stanford Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE), which manages Student Housing, wrote in an email to The Daily that students who were temporarily relocated have been provided with Cardinal Dollars.

The six rooms affected by water damage are being dehumidified before their residents can return. Four of these rooms will require repair beyond dehumidification. Some pieces of wall at floor level had to be removed due to water damage, and some rooms will require ceiling repairs. There are also reports of significant water damage to personal property in the affected rooms.

Marianne LeVine and Alice Phillips contributed to this report.

About Brendan O'Byrne

Brendan is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily. Previously he was the executive editor, the deputy editor, a news desk editor and a writer for the news section. He's a history major originally from New Orleans.
  • Previous Resident

    That’s funny, Storey leaked when I lived there too. Always damp and smelly.

  • d

    Will the residents be compensated for the damaged property? Does Stanford have insurance that covers this?