Water leak damages lobby of Holiday Inn in Downtown Fresno

A big water leak at a Downtown Fresno hotel on Monday afternoon caused guests to check out and postponed a large annual event attended by hundreds of local teachers.
March 3, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A big water leak at a Downtown Fresno hotel on Monday afternoon caused guests to check out and postponed a large annual event attended by hundreds of local teachers.

For hours, pumps removed about 3,000 gallons of water from the lobby of the Holiday Inn. Our cameras weren't allowed inside, but witnesses said before you could see the flooding, you could tell something was very wrong.

"We heard some water running and it was getting a little warm on the second floor, so we went downstairs to find out what was going on, and we saw the lobby filling up with water," said Fresno Unified School District spokeswoman Susan Bedi.

Firefighters said a broken 3-inch line sent water pouring into the building. For about three hours, crews shut off electricity while they worked on the problem.

"We live in a world where everything is connected to power, so everything from the way to get into your room or the way to access the cash register. All that is tied to the electrical system," said Fresno Fire Department spokesman Koby Johns.

A manager who didn't want to appear on camera confirmed several guests chose to check out and were given a full refund. But the outage also postponed a 500-person banquet held to honor excellent teachers and staff at Fresno Unified. A spokesperson for the district said the postponed event is scheduled to take place on Tuesday at 6.30 p.m.


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