Pipe burst damages Providence police offices, some files - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Pipe burst damages Providence police offices, some files

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Driving past the Providence Public Safety Complex, you can see police cruisers parked next to cleaning trucks.

A quick look inside explains why.

"This particular office got decimated," said Col. Hugh Clements of the Providence Police Department, who gave a tour Monday of the worst of the damage.

He said in the corner of an office, a sprinkler pipe attached to the sprinkler head, "experienced some cool air draft from the outer wall" and caused a 3 or 4-inch pipe to burst.

The burst happened at about 2 p.m. Saturday on the third floor.

Clements said he doesn't know what caused the burst, but said it spilled about 4 inches of water into the detective and special victim units, which now have to be aired out.

Despite the sound of fans and vacuums, detectives are still working in the building.

"We haven't missed a beat, in all honesty," Clements said.

The water also damaged computers, copiers, and other police files. Clements said some of the files are the only copies the department had.

However, Clements said the cleaning company can dry the files.

"At this point, it doesn't look like we'll lose any case files or case files that will jeopardize criminal cases," he said.

There were also some electrical problems too.

"Minor burning on the carpeting and the wall. You can smell it," Clements said.

Clements said the problems will be investigated by the department.

"We'll be doing a full review of the building to ascertain if we have further problems ahead of us," he said.

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