UPDATE: Hundreds evacuated after water line break on Girard Avenue in Springfield

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of residents were evacuated after a water line break in Springfield Sunday morning.

On Sunday night, residents Sunday night were placed at three different hotels throughout Springfield and Monday morning crews were on site at 15 Girard Avenue cleaning up the damage from the leak.

“Seems like they’re tryig to fix everything in a timely manner,” building resident, Rochelle Boyd told 22News.

Springfield city officials told us the hotel rooms for displaced residents are paid for by the building management. Evacuated residents told us that the rooms are paid for for the next three days but after that there is no current plan if the remediation take longer.

“I heard water running in my bathroom. I said ‘oh no did I leave my tub over flowing or something?’ Next thing you know I seen puddles of water coming in my house in my apartment, all in my closet,” evacuated building resident, Yvette Grimes told 22News.

We attempted to speak to building management on the progress of resolving the issue and they said no comment. The cause of the water pipe burst is being investigated.

“Everybody heard a big thump and then we all came out and there was flooding everywhere from the hallways. It’s like crazy. I never saw this happen in my life,” apartment resident Shayla Ramos told 22News

Springfield Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi told 22News around 3:30 A.M. received an alarm at 15 Girard Avenue for a water pipe break. They arrived and found a major water heater leak in the seventh floor utility room. The leak caused eight inches of flooding and thousands of gallons of water to be released onto lower building floors.

“The water was running in the floor in the hall I live on. Second floor. Yep it was all in hall I heard it. I heard it dripping,” apartment resident, Alillian Hill told 22News.

Nearly all residents from the North end of the building were evacuated and have no electricity in their apartments. Springfield Fire told 22News between 150 and 200 residents were evacuated and taken to the Rebecca Johnson School located by PVTA services.

“We’re just working on making sure everybody’s got what they need out of the building and everything buttoned up down here. Management is responsible for rehousing these people,” Commissioner Calvi told 22News.

Springfield Mayor Sarno released the following statement:

In response to the water leak at 15 Girard Ave. in the early hours of this morning which forced evacuation of approximately 150 to 200 residents.

Our first priority is the safety and well-being of all residents affected by this incident. City agencies are currently working to assist those displaced in finding temporary or full-time housing until such time that they are able to move back to their homes.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno

Local city officials said they’re concerned for the residents in the privately owned building after speaking with them.

“Just the quality of life isn’t up to par. I blame this on management. I think they have to do better and if they don’t we need to find someone who will,” Springfield City Councilor, Malo Brown told 22News.

Brown told 22News on Monday that city and state officials are working together to discuss resident concerns and better building management for the future.

But some residents say there’s little hope. Residents expressed to us that this is not the first time there’s been a water leak in the building.

“It’s going to be a continuing issue because they’re putting new pipes connecting with old pipes and it just keeps leaking, keeps bursting,” said building resident, Elizabeth Rios.

The cause of the burst is under investigation.

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