Residents living in Francisco Torres Residence Hall were not singing in the rain last Friday.
After a water leak from recent rains caused a fire alarm in the newly renovated north tower of FT to short-circuit on Friday morning, residents were forced to evacuate the building. Santa Barbara Fire Station 11 responded to the alarm, located in room 10348, at 10:11 a.m., and students waited in the rain for 15 minutes while firefighters reset the alarm system.
Station Capt. Sabin Perkins said water leaked into one of the fire alarms, causing it to malfunction and sound off. He said leaks affecting fire alarms are not a common problem.
The affected fire alarm has now been isolated from the rest of the warning system to prevent further problems, FT Resident Director Seth Avakian said. Despite this, Avakian said another false alarm caused by water damage is possible.
Both FT towers were recently renovated, a project that cost the university $25 million. The north tower was reopened in March of 2004, and the south tower was completed in September.
In addition to the false fire alarm, the rain also caused leaks in the 10th floor hallway and at least three other residents’ rooms in the north tower, as well as the hallway and at least one room on the south tower’s 10th floor. Avakian said university maintenance employees are working on fixing the leaks, but he does not know when they will be repaired.
“I’ve had two girls come to me with leaks today, but there’s not much [university maintenance crews] can do,” said Tiffany Hindman, an FT desk attendant and second-year history major. “I called emergency maintenance for one leak, but they’re probably trying to fix problems all over campus right now.”
Students living on the north tower’s tenth floor said two residents and a resident assistant from that floor have been temporarily relocated within the same floor until the leaks can be fixed.
Undeclared first-year student Mayra Torres, who shares a bathroom with an RA, said she opted to stay in her room despite leaks in both her room and the bathroom.
“It was my choice whether or not I wanted to move down the hall or stay and move temporarily when they come to repair [the leaks],” Torres said. “The RA said it would be a month until the leaks are fixed, so I’m just using buckets.”
Carly Skinner, an undeclared first-year student on the south tower’s 10th floor, said her room also suffers from leak damage.
“It started last Sunday, there was a big bubble on the ceiling and maintenance came and popped the bubble,” Skinner said. “This morning I came home and found that there was a bubble that had popped over my bed. It’s a slight inconvenience; my things are getting all wet and I have to accommodate a bucket in the middle of my floor.”