Frozen Pipe Bursts at Belding Mall

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frozen fire sprinklersGrand Rapids, MI -- An empty store, formerly Rayborn Hardware, had a frozen pipe burst on Monday, affecting stores within the Belding Covered Village Mall.

At 9am on Monday, a frozen fire sprinkler burst, alerting the Belding Fire Department.  Fire Chief Gregg Moore noted water pouring from the ceiling.  The frozen pipe seriously compromised the mall's fire sprinkler.

"It was a water flow alarm and our suspicion was that it would be in an open abandoned building.  Sure enough, that's where we found it, in the old Rayborn's building," said Moore.

Because the empty business was located within a mall, it resulted in compromising three mall businesses' fire sprinkler systems.

"Everybody's down, the whole suppression system is shut down, so everyone on the north end of the mall is without a sprinkler system.  But is looks like the system will be back up in a couple hours," Moore continued.

After some investigation, it was found that the breakers were off, cutting off the heat to the store.  

Iona County Land Bank took over the building when the previous owners failed to pay taxes.  According to a representative, they have been paying the gas bill for the building, so they don't know why the breakers were shut off, discontinuing the heat.

"We've had the heat running and I've been paying the gas bill for the past couple of months, so I don't know what happened.  We only turn the breakers off in the summer months.  Someone turned them off, but I don't know who else has access to it," said Iona Country Treasurer Judy Clark. 

Repairs to the vacant store will take some time.  The building is so cold, it needs to warm up before the pipes can defrost.

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