WOONSOCKET – The building problems at City Hall continued on Saturday when a sprinkler system line broke in a little used space of the building and caused a small water problem, according to fire officials.
City Hall and the connected historic Harris Hall building at 169 Main St. lost their main heating system last week and were being kept warm by isolated electric heating systems and space heaters where possible. The problem turned serious by midweek as area temperatures dropped below 20 degrees and raised the specter of frozen water pipes.
Mayor Leo T. Fontaine took emergency action to hire Arden Engineering to conduct the repair work at a cost of about $16,000.
The repairs were expected to have started on Friday but it was unclear Saturday if heating had been fully restored before the sprinkler line broke in the building.
Deputy Fire Chief Paul S. Russell said firefighters responding to the 4:30 p.m. sprinkler alarm at City Hall, located the leaking line in the unused room and shutdown the building’s sprinkler system.
Firefighters conducted a clean-up of the area before leaving the building in charge of City Hall maintenance personnel about an hour later, he said.
“I don’t believe it was a huge leak,” Russell said while indicating the damage appeared to be minimal. Firefighters had been busy through the day with a number of similar calls for water pipe breaks that typically crop up during extreme and extended periods of cold.