Tampered standpipes caused flooding in Downtown condo building, Madison Fire says

November 6, 2018

Standpipes that had been tampered with caused flooding in a Downtown condo building in Madison Saturday morning, with nobody displaced or hurt in the incident.

It happened at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the 100 Wisconsin Avenue condos, the Madison Fire Department said.

“Firefighters responded when an automatic fire alarm in the building indicated a water flow problem,” said spokeswoman Cynthia Schuster.

A standpipe is similar to a fire hydrant, but inside a high-rise building, so water can be available practically anywhere in the building if needed to fight a fire.

The damaged standpipes caused water to flow into the lobby and into an elevator shaft, as well as water flowing down a stairwell.

“A resident on the fifth floor reported a lot of water in the hallway, and when firefighters made their way to a second stairwell they found a much worse situation,” Schuster said.

A tampered standpipe was found on an upper floor of the building, with water gushing from the pipe.

The two tampered pipes were plugged as the system was shut down for repairs.

“Witnesses did not report seeing anybody tampering with the standpipe system prior to reporting the water problems,” Schuster said.

Update hourly