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Sprinklers Force Evacuation at The Sanderling

While many students celebrated the end of Syllabus Week on Friday night, residents of The Sanderling on 616 W. College Ave were forced to evacuate the building after one of them damaged the sprinkler system.

Steve Blair, the regional Fire Director, told Onward State that residents damaged the sprinkler system on the apartment building’s second floor. A deluge fell to the first floor, and damage to electrical circuits knocked out power in The Sanderling. “The loss of power created an unsafe condition for all residents,” Blair said, which resulted in a mandatory evacuation for all its inhabitants. “Many of the residents will be able to return to the building as soon as electrical service is restored.”

Thanks to work from the Alpha Fire Company, the building owner, and contractors, Tim Knisely, regional Senior Fire Inspector, reported that many residents were able to return Saturday night. This beats the week-long quarantine some students feared on Friday night.

“Based on our investigation at this point, the sprinkler head was broken by accident and not an intentional act,” Police Chief Tom King said. “A person was throwing a football that struck the sprinkler head. That was also the person who reported it to the fire and police department. Based on our investigation to date, we will not be filing criminal; charges and this mater would be handled civilly between the building owner and the person who caused the accidental damage.”

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About the Author

Doug Dooling, Jr.

I am a staff writer for Onward State. I graduated as a Nittany Lion with Honors in 2013. Now, I am back in Happy Valley to earn a degree at the Penn State Law. Outside of politics and government, my interests include college football, soccer, Irish history, and astronomy.


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