Malfunctioning fire sprinkler damages Durand Union Station

From WJRT-TV ABC Channel 12

For the second time in less than three years, a water leak has damaged the Union Station Depot in Durand.

This time, the building’s fire suppression system is to blame.

The depot’s second floor board room is a soggy mess after hundreds of gallons of water poured through the ceiling. The problem started when a sprinkler head in the attic failed, tripping the fire alarm early Sunday morning. Firefighters quickly shut off the water, then turned their attention to saving historical pictures and documents.

“They were instrumental helping minimize damage by moving pictures and other valuable pieces of history that we have been trying to preserve,” said Dan Brooks.

Just below the board room is the museum gift shop. Damage there was limited to the ceiling and carpeting. “None of the cases was damaged by water at all. It all happened down the center of the gift shop,” said Mary Warner-Stone, the interim museum director.

The museum is a depository of Michigan railroad history archives. In January 2009, a burst water pipe soaked many of those documents. This time only a few books got wet. A restoration company responded to the flooding with mops and industrial strength fans.

“They felt that as quickly as they could get the water out and get the air circulating, that would minimize a mold build up,” Brooks said.

Buckets in the hallway are still catching occasional drops from the attic. There’s no dollar figure yet on the damage, but depot officials believe it will
be covered by property insurance.

“It was not nearly as bad as it could have been,” said Brooks

“It’s fixable, and we just move forward,” added Warner-Stone.

The flooding has not affected the Amtrak waiting room. Brooks said passengers were able to “come and go as the train arrived and departed.”

The gift shop and the museum remain closed, but if repairs are made as quickly as hoped, they could reopen in a week.

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