A fire sprinkler in the kitchen of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office in the Justice Center malfunctioned, pouring thousands of gallons of water into the office space around 12:30 p.m. Friday.
“Apparently, it looks like a sprinkler head malfunctioned and went off, and then the fire pumps and everything kicked on and basically caused a flood. No fire,” Hinesville Fire Department Lt. Gene Long said.
Firefighters and a few Liberty County Jail inmates pushed water out of offices with squeegees and brooms, the damage covering about 80 percent of the office. Debris from the kitchen ceiling and the previously stagnant dark water from the pipes covered carpet and tile and found its way under desks, filing cabinets and boxes filled with Christmas ornaments.
“There’s probably several thousand gallons of water (that) came out of it,” Long said. “The pump kicked in just like it’s supposed to and boost the pressure when one of these sprinkler heads goes off. They can pump out 100 gallons or so a minute per head, and it ran for a good 10 minutes I would guess.”
ServPro and the alarm company have been called to clean up the mess and get the building up and running.
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