TURLOCK (CBS13) – Students at the Vista Apartments in Turlock woke up to water pouring into their units just after midnight Saturday morning.
“I thought it was the sprinkler at first, water was everywhere,” said Kanelyn Brown, a student at California State University, Stanislaus
But after taking a closer look, they quickly realized the potential danger as the water levels continued to rise.
“The water was up to at least a third floor. You could see through the windows in the stairwell it was like a swimming pool in there. It was crazy,” said Zaharia Hendrix.
“It was a lot. It was probably up to like my stomach, chest,” said Avery Thompson.
Students called 911 and the apartment complex management but took action on their own, helping those unaware on the lower floors as they waited on a response.
“And so I was freaking out. The girls on the first floor had like a foot of water in already in their apartment. So I tried to get them out and took off the screen to try and help them out,” Thompson said.
When fire and police arrived, water was pressing against the windows of the stairwell doors.
Crews worked quickly shutting off several water mains to stop the flow and cutting the electricity as they helped with evacuations, including a resident on the first floor who they said was immobile.
“Water was leaking from our lights, that was kind of scary. I was like, that’s kind of a fire hazard,” Brown said.
Some students were upset with how the situation was handled, saying it took at least a half hour before emergency crews responded and warning systems at the complex didn’t sound.
“The fire alarms or any alert alarms did not go off,” said Kyra Brady.
No one was injured.
The leak was contained to one main building. Cleaning crews worked well into the night to begin drying out the damage. Displaced students were relocated to empty units within the complex.
The immediate cause of the leak is not known. The fire marshal is investigating the incident.