BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Firefighters responded to Southern University after the fire alarm went off Thursday morning, Janene Tate, spokeswoman for the university confirms.
Tate said there was no fire, but all four floors of the building took on roughly two inches of water after a water coil on the roof burst. Crews worked to address the issue, including workers with Guarantee Restoration.
According to the school's director of maintenance, Maurice Pitts, early assessments of the damage indicated the carpet would be a total loss. Scans of the walls were also done.
"By the time I made it up here, the library was totally inundated with water," said Pitts.
Tate said it will take two weeks for the carpet to be replaced and the damaged sheetrock will have to be removed. She added there is no timeline yet on remodeling.
She said there will be limited service available inside the building and online for students starting Wednesday, January 24. She added officials are working to identify other temporary areas for students to use for lab work in the interim.
Pitts said it remains unclear how long water rushed into the building, but that he estimates hundreds of gallons of water ended up there. "We had to get the water to clear out the line just to get down to where we are right now," Pitts added. "We got it stopped at about 1:00 this afternoon and we've been working hard ever since."
Pitts said the immediate focus was on funneling out all the water. According to Tate, mold was avoided due to the quick response of the crews working on the cleanup. She added 80 percent of the water had been removed by Friday afternoon and only the west side of library was affected.
Crews have been working around the clock and the building is currently shut down.
The pipe burst is considered a weather-related incident.