Multiple people displaced after small fire leads to sprinkler activation, flooding in Knoxville senior center

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — More than 250 people were evacuated out of a senior center in Knoxville after a small fire in an apartment led to a water leak Saturday night, according to the Knoxville Fire Department.

KFD first responded to a call around 7 p.m. of a fire at Northgate Terrace on Whittle Springs Road. When they got there, however, the building’s sprinkler system had already extinguished the flame.

Even though only one sprinkler went off on the eighth floor of the 12-story building, it continued to pour water after the fire was put out.  Firefighters tried to stop the flow of water by wedging the sprinkler head closed and redirecting the water to the stairwells. Because so much water had soaked into the electrical corridors of the building, the Fire Department shut the electrical power off to the entire building.

    The department evacuated the building to make sure no one was hurt due to water or electrical issues.

    Only one person had minor injuries due to the small fire. No other injuries were reported at the time.

    The American Red Cross is assisting people who have been displaced. Young-Williams Animal Center is helping house the pets that have been displaced, as well.

    It is unclear how long residents who were affected will be displaced.

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