Frozen pipe bursts, sending water into State Street businesses, fire dept. says

A photo of State Street

Two downtown businesses are cleaning up after a water leak that sprung overnight Wednesday from frozen pipes, fire officials said.

The Madison Fire Department said firefighters originally were dispatched at 3:11 a.m. to the Towers in the 500 block of North Frances Street to investigate an activated alarm.

A leasing manager at the site pointed firefighters to the alarm panel, which led them to the basement, where water was actively flooding out of two doors, according to a news release. There was also a considerable amount of steam, which had set off one of the smoke detectors.

Further investigation revealed the fire pump was running, with significant water leaking out of one of the fire sprinkler heads. They returned to the alarm panel and heard a second alarm sounding. That’s when they found considerable amounts of water coming out of the Under Armour store on the 600 block of State Street. A broken sprinkler head, frozen in the below-zero temperatures, was found at the front of the store, fire officials said. The first floor of the store was flooded, causing water to also run into the lower level of the building, impacting the City Bar next door.

Firefighters confirmed there was no smoke or fire, and the sprinkler system was shut down to stop the leak, the fire department said. Firefighters grabbed squeegees and helped clean up the first floor. City Bar staff used towels and a water vacuum to stay ahead of the problem unfolding in their business.

According to the news release, building maintenance and store managers were contacted, and the City of Madison Streets Division salted the street and sidewalk, which were slippery from the water flow.