From News Partner News Channel Nebraska
O’Neill Fire and Rescue responded to an emergency call from the Golden Living Center in O’Neill at approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday night. As crews arrived on the scene they encountered flooding in one wing of the building, affecting seventeen resident and patient care rooms and the hallway.
O’Neill Fire Chief Terry Miles quickly determined that assistance would be needed to transport residents and patients to a safe area, and he called Atkinson Fire and Rescue for assistance. Residents and patients were transported to Avera Medical Center for their own safety. Other residents were moved to rooms at the center of the building that were not affected by the flooding.
A preliminary investigation determined that the cause of the flood was in the fire suppression system. It consists of a four inch water main that runs through the ceiling to individual sprinkler heads. The four inch line ruptured, causing the ceiling to flood. Water soon poured out of the ceiling at several locations, and Miles reported there was about three inches of water in the wing when O’Neill Fire and Rescue arrived.
Residents were quickly moved to safety while the water was being shut off, and as soon as that was accomplished the O’Neill Fire Department assisted in the clean up. They were able to leave at approximately 11 p.m.
Stephanie Clifton, Executive Director at the Golden Living Center in O'Neill, said, “We are working as fast as we can to get the damage repaired in the building. Some patients and residents are being transferred to other facilities in the interim. We are very grateful that no one was injured. Our resident’s safety and care come first. Words cannot express how thankful we are for the quick response of our O’Neill and Atkinson Rescue Squads, firemen, and police officers. We are blessed!”
The State Fire Marshall is investigating.