Toronto

Burst pipe, electrical panel fire force some residents out of Brampton apartment

Three floors of a Brampton apartment building had to be evacuated Thursday morning after a fire in an electrical room that may be linked to a ruptured pipe.

Emergency crews were called at 3:30 a.m. Thursday for reports of sparks coming from 11th floor electrical room

It could be days before full power is restored to 165 Kennedy Rd. South in Brampton, fire officials said. (James Morrison/CBC)

Three floors of a Brampton apartment building had to be evacuated Thursday morning after a fire in an electrical room that may be linked to a ruptured pipe.

Emergency crews were called to 165 Kennedy Rd. South around 3:30 a.m. for reports of sparks coming from an electrical panel on the 11th floor.

The building's top three floors had to be evacuated, for a total of 48 units, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services District Chief Hal Gillette told CBC Toronto at the scene. It could be "some time" before repairs are completed and residents of those floors are allowed back in to the building, he added.

A burst water pipe Wednesday evening sent water down the elevator shafts, which put the elevators out of service, according to Gillette. That may have led to the damage of the electrical panel, he said.

Fire crews were ready to bring the standby power system online, but in the end it wasn't necessary.

Brampton Transit buses are at the scene providing temporary shelter for those who need it.

Residents who were forced out of their units were also taken by public transit buses to the Century Garden Recreation Centre at 340 Vodden Street. There were no reported injuries.

Electricians were busy Thursday morning working to restore heat to the building, Gillette said. While the lower floors will have full heat and power today, the top three floors will have limited power and it could be "days" before the electrical panel is fixed or replaced.

As for the cause of the burst pipe, Gillette said the culprit could be last week's deep freeze followed by the more recent warmer temperatures. If there was any sort of leak in the pipe, that would have been exacerbated when the pipe expanded as temperatures rose, he said.

Early Thursday afternoon, the City of Brampton issued a news release to say that the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and the Office of the Fire Marshal were on hand to investigate.

A burst pipe may have leaked water into the 11th floor electrical panel, fire officials said. (James Morrison/CBC)