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Buffalo nursing home evacuates 60 residents after pipe bursts

A break in a sprinkler pipe on the fourth floor of a Delaware Avenue nursing home Friday morning prompted the temporary evacuation of about 40 residents, the nursing home said.

The 1 1/2-inch water line to a sprinkler head burst shortly before 7:44 a.m. at Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing at Delaware and East Utica Street. In the 15 minutes it took Buffalo firefighters to shut down the water supply, about 6 inches of water had pooled on the C wing of the fourth floor and dripped down to the floors below, according to Division Chief Daniel Bossi.

The residents were evacuated from the second, third and fourth floors, he said, adding that there are offices on the first floor. There were no injuries, and no residents got wet, he said.

Bossi said the residents were moved to Ellicott Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, but a spokesman for the nursing home later said the effected residents would remain at Buffalo Center.

“During Friday afternoon, the residents will be moving back to their rooms,” said Jeff Jacomowitz, the spokesman, adding that they were temporarily placed in unaffected areas of the facility.

The facility is certified to accommodate up to 200 residents.

The pipe that burst is above a dropped ceiling and feeds a sprinkler at the end of the hall, he said.

The strong winds had chilled that end of the building, Bossi said. He said he expects there will be more breaks in sprinkler systems elsewhere as the weather improves and buildings warm.

Frank Wood of Davis Ulmer, who is repairing the Buffalo Center water line, said it may take 24 hours for the pipe to work because it’s a plastic line.

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