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Ceiling pipe breaks at DHS

Cleanup from a busted sprinkler inside Durango High School was expected to last through Friday, said Karola Hanks, fire marshal with the Durango Fire Protection District.

A ball that was kicked hit a sprinkler head and activated the system shortly before 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the school, she said.

The pipe gushed a “pretty significant amount” of water into the southern part of the school near a gym, Hanks said. It also activated the fire alarm, sending dozens of kids out of the school.

Some students reported seeing a black liquid discharge from the pipe. At first, they thought it was a sewage pipe, but Hanks said it was stagnant water.

“Yes, it is black-colored water, but it is not harmful to anybody,” Hanks said. “It’s not dangerous. It’s just a consequence of water sitting in a pipe and not moving for long periods of time. It really was the sprinkler pipe.”

Repairs were expected to take at least 24 hours, because that’s how long it takes the glue to dry on the pipe, Hanks said. She did not have an immediate estimate for how many gallons of water flowed from the sprinkler.

That part of the building was expected to remain closed through Friday. Students who have physical education in the morning were expected to meet in the cafeteria.


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