Water damage caused by an electrical fire Sunday will prevent the Tillicum Community Center from resuming normal operations for several weeks.
The building’s automatic sprinkler system quickly put out the fire about 9 a.m., but continued to pour out water until first responders arrived to turn it off, said Bill Hubbard, the center’s board president.
“It really is a shame, because the community does use (the facility) an awful lot,” Hubbard said.
Water rose to 4 feet in the building’s community hall, and other areas were flooded with 6 to 9 inches of water, he said. The building is insured.
Video cameras captured the incident. Karen Priest, the center’s director, said a captain at West Pierce Fire and Rescue told her it appeared a wire in a light fixture sparked and set off the automatic sprinkler. The lighting was installed in March.
The alarm company was alerted and dispatched the firefighters, but an estimated 500 gallons of water had flooded the building before they could shut it off, Priest said.
The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The community hall, which sustained the most damage, will remain closed. That means three weekly meals provided to senior citizens there are on hiatus for probably a month, Priest said.
The library is scheduled to reopen Monday, and the Sea Mar health clinic will resume business Aug. 13, she said. The clinic is seeing patients out of its Tacoma office in the meantime.
The center resumed operation of the food bank Wednesday, operating it out of the back of a truck in the parking lot. The clothing exchange was unaffected because it already operated outside the building.253-274-7390 email@example.com @TNTchill