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The Rodin fire alarms went off slightly before 12AM last night due to an activated sprinkler head on the west side of the building on the 13th floor. The water flooded multiple floors and there was leakage on the first floor as well.

Photo: Ananya Chandra / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Rodin College House residents were forced to evacuate overnight following the flooding of multiple floors, according to an email sent by interim House Dean Rick LaRosa. 

"At approximately 12:05 am the fire department arrived on site and found that the cause for the alarm was an activated sprinkler head located on the 13th floor," LaRosa wrote to all house residents at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. He added that the Division of Public Safety is currently investigating the reason why the sprinklers were activated.

Students were allowed to re-enter the building around 1 a.m. Shortly after students re-entered the building, emails were sent out by Resident Advisors and Graduate Associates to all the residents reiterating the importance of evacuating upon hearing the fire alarms, regardless of whether residents felt endangered or not. The email also instructed residents of the 13th floor to remain in the Upper Lobby until receiving further instruction.

Andrew Fischer | The Daily Pennsylvanian

By early morning, water was leaking from the ceiling in Rodin College House's lobby.

Upon return to the building, students whose rooms were damaged by the flood were either relocated to another college house or found friends to stay in an alternate location, said a member of the Rodin staff who asked for their name not to be used.

rodin
Photo By Alex Graves

The flooding started after a sprinkler was activated on the 13th floor (pictured here). 

/ The Daily Pennsylvanian

Elizabeth Goran, a College and Wharton sophomore and a resident of the 13th floor, recalled entering her room at around 1 a.m. to find “a guy with a huge vacuum that looked like a Ghostbuster’s machine.”

There was water in her living room and in her roommate’s room. All the furniture in her living room that had been resting against the wall had to be moved away from the wall. Goran and her roommates made arrangements to spend the night with friends, and their RA had told them to inform the front desk of their plans. Goran didn’t report and serious damages, and she’s returning to her apartment tonight. Other students were not as lucky.

Joe Dembik, a College junior and resident of the 12th floor, said that he and his roommate have been relocated to Sansom West for the next seven to 10 days. They were able to re-enter their room from the stairwell about a half hour after the alarms sounded to grab their valuables such as their laptops and books.

When they returned after everyone was allowed back, the water level was as high as Dembik’s ankle, and his bedroom had the most water. A few pairs of shoes and bedsheets were among the items Dembik lost in the flood. He and his roommate spent the night at Sigma Nu.

"Student Intervention Services will be reaching out to each impacted students’ school advising office to make them aware of this situation," LaRosa wrote. "Students are encouraged to speak with their own academic advisors should they have additional academic needs."

Residential Services also enlisted Belfor, a recovery services team, to "remove the water and begin the drying an recovery process," LaRosa wrote.

A Residential Services staff member has also been assigned to support students whose property may have been damaged in the flooding with personal property damage claims, LaRosa said. 

This article was last updated at 7:25 p.m.

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