Malfunctioning sprinkler causes evacuation at Gilmour

NORWICH – Fifty residents at the former Gilmour Nursing Facility were evacuated Saturday afternoon after a malfunctioning fire sprinkler caused water and electrical damage throughout the facility.

The home officially changed its name on Jan. 1 from the Pearl and Everett Gilmour Nursing Facility to the Norwich Rehabilitation and Nursing Center after coming under new ownership.

City of Norwich Emergency Management Director A. Wesley Jones said the fire department was alerted to an alarm after an automatic system at the center detected a fire sprinkler head above the third floor nursing station had burst at around 11 a.m. Saturday.

Jones said the facility’s staff had only moments before notified building maintenance that the sprinkler head was leaking.

Norwich Fire Chief Tracy Chawgo said firemen arrived on the scene and stopped the malfunctioning sprinkler. Jones estimated that “hundreds of gallons” of water escaped the sprinkler head “in about 10 minutes.”

“Water had gone all over the nursing station, all their electronics and computers at the station were covered in water and water traveled through to the second floor ceiling and destroyed the second floor’s nursing station and its electronics,” he said.

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