Seniors Forced Into The Cold After Sprinkler System Bursts In Apartment Building


UPDATED: Wednesday January 8, 2014 11:52 PM

Seniors were forced out of their apartments after cold weather caused pipes to burst, sending water raining down from sprinklers.

The pipes burst at the Livingston Arms Senior Apartments in Lancaster.   Firefighters and Red Cross workers helped get the seniors to safety.

Fire officials say the break happened on the third floor of the building, leaving dozens of seniors scrambling for a new place to live.

"I'm very upset. I was 89 yesterday and I have no family here," said resident, Beatrice Blosser.

Blosser was bundled up, with her medicine in a basket, her walker in hand, and her essentials by her side, as she heads out into the cold.

This happened after a sprinkler line burst in her building and water went everywhere.

"Came thru on the third floor.  I'm on the first floor, it's coming all down thru my living room and my bedrooms and my bathrooms and every thing's flooded," said Blosser.  "It's terrible. When you're this age and you get put out in the middle of the night."

She, and others in need, are getting into one of the shuttles provided by the city, and heading to a temporary place to live.

Still inside the apartment building, is 74-year-old Mary Dougherty.  She says she and her husband say they won't leave until they find their cat.

"We were in the apartment and the alarm went off and that's what scared her and she took off," said Dougherty.

Firefighters and family search high and low, behind couches, under beds, and in closets.

Outside, John and Freda Hoy have everything they need.  "Just got started fixing dinner and the alarm went off 34," said resident, John Hoy.

"When you hear an alarm, it means go, so that's what we did," said resident, Freda Hoy.

They say they're just ready to get to dryer grounds. "I was like a lake outside our door," said Freda Hoy.

So, with bible in hand and prayers in mind, they leave the place they call home.

Speaking of which, it's still a nerve-racking search in Mary Dougherty's place for the cat, they call "kitty."

Then, behind a couch, they spot her and put her into her cage for transit. A long and trying day, finally coming to a conclusion.

"Going to get over there, and get settled and probably go to bed. I'm pretty wore out," said Dougherty.

Building officials say no one was injured. They say it will be a long process to repair the pipes and the damage to the building, in order to get everyone who lives there back in their rooms safely.

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