The Alzheimer Society has a major mess on their hands after a sprinkler line exploded and flooded their building on Donald Street Tuesday.
CEO Sylvia Rothney said a sprinkler line froze and then blew apart, sending water pouring through the building’s ceiling.
Around 11:30 a.m. water began gushing into one of their boardrooms, and the office began filling up with water, according to Rothney.
"Thankfully there wasn’t a support group going on in the boardroom because that’s where we do meet when this happened," said Rothney. "That would have been extremely frightening."
Rebecca Krowelski was walking by the room when the pipe burst.
"It was like an explosion happened," she said.
"Water started pouring out of the ceiling. It started in one area and then it spread within seconds."
After the pipe burst, several inches of water was left behind in the office.
Rothney said everything from pamphlets to computer equipment was damaged in the flood.
"I have my pant legs rolled up past my knees, and I have boots on right now trying to get around the office," she said. "We're looking at the damage and everything."
Flooding comes days before big event
The flood comes just two days before the Alzheimer's Society had planned a major fundraiser.
Hundreds of items that were set to be used in an auction to raise money for the agency were also damaged, leaving the organization scrambling.
The organization is now asking for the public’s help to replace donations and repair their building. Donations are being accepted online at the Alzheimer Society’s website, or in person at Derksen Plumbing, where the society has temporarily set up office.
"We’ve been told it’s probably going to be months that we are going to be out of this space, so we’re going to have to put a plan together," said Rothney.
The fundraising event is planned for Feb. 7 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.
Neighbouring businesses damaged
The Alzheimer's Society wasn't the only one affected by the burst pipe.
Hat Phan Tailoring Service shares a building with the agency and suffered major water damage.
Hat Phan was sewing when she said she heard an explosion. "I was really scared. I didn’t know what happened," said Phan.
Fire crews helped her clear water out of her space, and now electricians are assessing the damage to her business.