Pipe bursts in residence hall, leaving residents to wait out flood in other buildings

Bemis Lawrence Hall

Abbey Nutter

WKU students living in Bemis Lawrence hall were forced to evacuate when the building flooded Friday, Feb. 1.

Students such as Corrin Kiefer were evacuated from the residence hall at around 1:30 a.m. and waited in surrounding residence halls until the problem was resolved.

“My building is flooded…. the first alarms are going off…. it is 1:53AM….. we are sitting in another housing building’s lobby…..@wku @caboni please help,” she tweeted.


Kiefer said after evacuating at the fire alarm, a hall director came out and informed them that the building had flooded.

“From what my RA told me, someone was taking a hot shower and the steam set a fire alarm off,” Kiefer said. “The steam mixed with cold air from someone else leaving their window open and it flooded the building.”

Kiefer said the residents returned to their rooms at approximately 3 a.m. and saw that both the downstairs lobby and laundry room were flooded.

Bob Skipper, director of Media Relations, relayed in an email what Housing and Residence Life had told him about the morning’s incident.

“From my understanding, they [HRL] determined that an HVAC unit on the first-floor hallway near the hall director offices had likely frozen, thawed, and then, because of the hot water running through, had burst and the steam set off the fire alarm and caused a flood of water,” Skipper said in an email.

No rooms were affected by the flood of water, and students were allowed to return to Bemis Lawrence after an hour of waiting in neighboring lobbies.

News reporter Abbigail Nutter can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].Follow her on Twitter at @abbeynutter.