Several residents from the Cliffs in Vernon stand outside in the rain as Vernon Fire Rescue Services responds to a reported water break on Nov. 16, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)

Busted pipe, water damage displaces tenants of Vernon apartment complex

Emergency Social Services, City of Vernon called in wake of water damage

Residents from two apartment units have been temporarily displaced after a pipe burst Monday afternoon resulting in flooding and water damage.

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to alarms at the Cliffs on Okanagan Avenue around 3 p.m. Nov. 16, but upon arrival, there was no sign of fire.

Instead, they found water.

“A water supply pipe broke on the third flood and dispersed a large quantity of water through the building,” Capt. Colin Clarke said.

The apartment complex was evacuated and water to the building was shut off.

At least a dozen residents were standing outside in the rain while some were still peering from their windows.

“The pipe appears to be part of the building’s fire suppression system,” Deputy Fire Chief Dwight Seymour said. “When the pipe burst and the water started rushing out, it activated the alarm. The water pressure was very strong, so a number of units have been impacted by water damage, including several lower-level apartments.”

Water to the building was shut off and a plumber was called in to assess the site and determine how water can be restored.

“At this time, we don’t know what caused the pipe to burst,” Seymour said. “Our first priorities were to make sure all the residents were safe, that we could stop the flow of water and that those who needed emergency support received assistance.”

The City of Vernon Emergency Support Services (ESS) program is providing assistance to the temporarily displaced residents.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

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