Frozen water pipe floods Erie Beach Hotel


By Paul Morris

ERIE Beach Hotel owners Pam and Andrew Schneider were woken by a phone call at 12:50 a.m. early last Monday morning.
Pam recalled a few days later that a phone call in the middle of the night is never good news and in those seconds her mind raced through the possibilities of why the phone was ringing.
She heard Andrew say “ok, I’ll be right there.”
It was the night watchman at the hotel. The fire alarm had just gone off. As a public hotel with a full sprinkler system, the local firefighters would be notified of the alarm and on their way as well.
They’d had the occasional false alarm in the past and Andrew suggested Pam go back to bed and he’d be home as soon as the firefighters gave the all clear.

Above: Pam and Andrew Schneider talk with the restoration crew in the Front Lobby at Erie Beach Hotel last Wednesday morning. The lobby is being restored quickly and was open on the weekend with a full menu available in the Capri Room.

It was a bitterly cold night. As Andrew drove the few blocks to the hotel, he noted his car was showing -19C without the wind chill.
In those minutes as Andrew and firefighters rushed to the hotel, the night watchman discovered a stream of water flowing through the Terrace Room ceiling.
The fire alarm was still sounding as firefighters checked through the entire building as quickly as possible to be sure there was not a fire that would risk lives.
Then the water supply to the sprinkler system got turned off.
Water had flowed for about half an hour through the ceiling above the large side of The Terrace Room and the floor was shoe-deep in water and flooding the building.
At home, Pam had dozed back to sleep when the phone rang again. Andrew was brief. “Can you come down here? It’s not good. A pipe burst and there’s water everywhere.”
A right-angle fitting on a three-quarter inch water pipe for the fire sprinkler system had frozen and burst in the attic space above The Terrace Room. Water had flowed under full pressure for about half an hour.

For full story and photos, see this week’s Maple Leaf.


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