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Norwich — Tenants from as many as 17 apartments at The Wauregan apartments downtown were displaced Friday evening after a broken water pipe on the sixth floor sent water all the way to the basement.
"It's a disaster," said first-floor tenant Jonathan Trombley. "Water's everywhere."
Trombley carried two garbage bags full of clothes and was headed out for the night. He said his apartment was soaked — the rugs, the bed, the walls, the ceiling.
The city fire department was called to the building, at 25 Broadway, at 7:09 p.m. after reports of a fire alarm that had gone off. The building was evacuated, and firefighters found water cascading from the sixth floor on the north side of the building.
Fire Capt. Keith Wucik said firefighters found the source of the water, shut off the water and also shut off power to the apartments that were affected. As of 10 p.m., firefighters remained at the scene.
The building has 70 affordable housing apartments and five commercial spaces. Water could also be seen dripping from the ceiling of the Wauregan Laundromat on the ground floor.
Wucik said building inspector Jim Troeger was called in and determined that residents could not stay in the affected apartments because of the broken pipe and while the power was shut off. A contractor has been called to fix the pipes, and the property management company is expected to request a cleaning service.
It was unclear when residents were going to be allowed to return to their apartments. Tenants congregated on the sidewalk outside the building, talking about where they were going to spend the night and wondering when they could return.