Malfunctioning sprinkler briefly closes Walmart in Calais

Posted Dec. 20, 2013, at 12:26 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 20, 2013, at 3:52 p.m.

CALAIS, Maine — A sprinkler system head malfunctioned at the Walmart Supercenter here Friday morning, briefly spraying water in the store and forcing it to close temporarily.

The sprinkler head was activated although there was no fire, reported Fire Chief Robert Posick.

A dozen firefighters, summoned at 8:24 a.m., responded to the scene and — with the aid of Walmart employees — the water was turned off at 8:35 a.m., said Posick.

“It caused a considerable amount of water to go on the floor,” he said.

The malfunctioning sprinkler head was located near the front of the store in the area of the restrooms, according to the fire chief.

The store was closed for about an hour, he said, although firefighters remained on the scene until about 10 a.m.

Even though the sprinkler head malfunctioned by activating without a fire, it operated properly by sprinkling water, noted Posick.

He praised the efforts of the Walmart employees. “The Walmart crews augmented what we did … amazing. Great team work,” the chief said.

Customers who were in the store were evacuated as a precaution so they would not slip on the wet floor, said Kayla Whaling, a spokeswoman for the company in Bentonville, Ark.

An office at the front of the store was mainly affected, she said, although the water spread elsewhere in the front of the building.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story requires correction. Robert Posick is fire chief, not police chief.

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