Updated 01/31/2013 04:19 PM
Businesses Try to Clean Up and Move Forward After Water Pipe Break
Some businesses in a historic building in downtown Rochester were closed Thursday after a water pipe burst causing significant damage. One of the affected businesses holds mortgage and other records for area property owners.
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Firefighters responded early Thursday morning to an automatic fire alarm at the Talman Building at 25 East Main Street in Rochester. They say it was activated by a sprinkler system connected to a broken water pipe.
The pipe was discovered on the third floor, causing significant water damage to businesses on that floor, along with those located on the first and second floors.
"It took quite some time for building personnel to respond, so we decided to force entry to the building. At that time, we knew it was a sprinkler system and it took us a few minutes to locate the sprinkler system in the basement, then we shut the sprinkler system down and drained it," said Chuck Stadler of the Rochester Fire Department.
The Talman Building houses a bank, the Frederick Douglass Newspaper, law offices and an abstract company.
Crossroads Abstract holds titles and provides closing services for property owners. When Mike McAuley, the company's owner, arrived early Thursday morning, he found records, computers and phone systems heavily damaged.
"There's millions of records up there. We have abstracts that we hold for seven years. For twenty odd some years; figure it out, there's a lot of abstracts up there," McAuley said.
The water damage forced electrical service to be shut off for the entire building. However, Crossroads remained open for business trying to work through the inconvenience.
"Anybody that's going to close a deal and record their mortgages or close the rest of the corporation stuff, it's going to be hard, it's going to be an awful hard system."
Businesses in the Talman building will spend the next days, if not weeks, accessing the damage and cleaning up. Crossroads has already found temporary office space in a part of the building that wasn't damaged.