Flooding from a sprinkler system at the Via Rail train station has indefinitely closed a mental health treatment program for teenagers in Halifax.
Dr. Ruth Carter, the director of the IWK Mental Health and Addictions Program, told CBC News that staff and patients at the Adolescent Centre for Treatment noticed smoke at the Via Rail train station at around 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
The IWK Health Centre runs the Adolescent Centre for Treatment — the only mental health inpatient treatment program for teenagers in Nova Scotia — from the third floor of the Via Rail station on Hollis Street.
The building was evacuated as a precaution and the ensuing investigation revealed the smoke was coming from a theatrical smoke machine that was being used at an event inside the Via Rail train station.
Once staff were given the all-clear from emergency workers, everyone went back into the unit.
About an hour later, firefighters were called back to the building. Dave Meldrum, divisional chief for Halifax Regional Fire, told CBC News that a teenager had knocked the head off a sprinkler inside the offices of the Adolescent Centre for Treatment.
Firefighters plugged the leak and deployed tarps to try to limit the water damage, said Meldrum.
Six patients sent home
The building was once again evacuated and the six patients currently in the inpatient program were taken to the 4 South unit at the IWK Health Centre, where there were extra beds available.
Those patients have since been sent home while the water damage to the Via Rail station is assessed, said Carter.
The water from the sprinkler system created a flood and damaged both the second and third floors of the station. Some of the water also got to the first-floor lobby, where workers had to drill holes in the ceiling to let the water out.
Carter told CBC News staff at the Adolescent Centre for Treatment are being put up in temporary offices. They will be contacting the six teenagers whose treatment programs were interrupted and arrange home visits if necessary.
"There will be some disruption to their treatment and it may mean that they have to stay longer in the program," said Carter.
"We're not sure about that, it depends on every individual situation so we're not sure how it's going to impact every individual."
She said it's unclear how long it will take for the offices to be repaired.
"They'll be away from that location until at least next week, mid-next week. We're going to re-evaluate the situation on Monday to see what the damage is. We're thinking, however, that it might take longer than next week," Carter said.