A disaster response crew is still addressing the damage caused by a major sprinkler system leak on the seventh floor of the Brady Tower that flooded multiple residential units and entered the street-level Starbucks and the adjacent Charline McCombs Empire Theatre on Monday.

Officials said that the leak lasted for more than an hour and a half, and cleanup efforts are underway in the Brady Tower and the Empire. Disaster response crews were still at the buildings Thursday afternoon.

Michael Rilley, Majestic and Empire theatres general manager, told attendees at a Centro San Antonio cocktail event at the Majestic on Wednesday that theater staff is formulating a cleanup plan and that the theatre’s elaborate, 101-year-old interior plasterwork did not appear to suffer any damage.

Emergency vehicles respond to a sprinkler leak at the Brady Tower and Empire Theatre Monday. Photo by Iris Dimmick.
Emergency vehicles respond to a major sprinkler leak at the Brady Tower apartments and Empire Theatre Monday. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

“Some of the water got into the Empire, none of it to the extent that made it into the Brady building. We’re dealing with the water situation now ourselves,” Rilley said. “There are lot of things that need to be inspected, especially with plaster. Areas on the lobby side and back of auditorium were affected. It affected a little bit of every level.”

Comedian Raymond Orta is scheduled to perform at the Empire on Saturday, July 9. Rilley said that the performance will go ahead as planned, since he anticipates the cleanup to be finished before then.

“We’re moving forward, and we’re in a good place,” Rilley said in a phone interview Thursday.

The sidewalk on the block of 200 N. St. Mary's St. is closed Wednesday after a sprinkler system flooded the Brady Tower apartments and the Empire Theatre Monday. Photo by Sarah Talaat.
The sidewalk on the block of 200 N. St. Mary’s St. is closed to pedestrians Thursday after a sprinkler system flooded the Brady Tower apartments Monday. Photo by Sarah Talaat.

The Brady Tower is managed by the neighboring Towers at the Majestic. Representatives for the residential buildings did not return a request for comment on Thursday.

Three people who were trapped in two elevators in the Brady Tower were rescued by the fire department during the sprinkler system leak on Monday. San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward said that the department responded to an emergency call that water was entering the stalled elevator for several minutes and that the water was several inches deep, according to the caller.

“Our first effort was to assist the folks trapped in the elevator, and even though there was no fire we tried to mitigate the damage and just be helpful,” Woodward said in a phone interview Thursday. “We got wet vacs and squeegees to get up some of the water and tarps to cover the equipment in Starbucks.”

200 block of North St. Mary's Street remained closed Thursday while a crew works to clean up the Brady Tower. Photo by Sarah Talaat.
200 block of North St. Mary’s Street remained closed Thursday while a crew works to clean up the interior of Brady Tower. Photo by Sarah Talaat.

Woodward estimated that one and a half to two hours had passed from the time of the emergency call to the time the water was shut off.

The fire department is not usually involved with leak-related cleanups, but EMS personnel and firefighters on Monday remained on the scene to help residents and employees of the affected businesses.

https://rivardreport.wildapricot.org

Top image: A major sprinkler leak at the Brady Tower caused flooding. A disaster crew is working to clean the building.  Photo by Sarah Talaat.

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Sarah Talaat

Former Rivard Report intern Sarah Talaat graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2016. You can find her in Beijing, China where she is pursuing a business journalism master's at Tsinghua...