Shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, Matt Calderiso, facilities manager for the Town of Bristol, received a call that water was gushing from a pipe in the boiler room in the basement of the old Reynolds school building. When he arrived, he waded through about a foot of water to reach the leak’s source and turn it off.
“I figured with the heat running, we’d be fine,” he said.
The heating system works by circulating air from the outside into the unit. Mr. Calderiso believed that the flap allowing the cold air exchange may have been stuck, causing the pipe to burst.
The basement is where the Bristol Theater Company stores its props. Mr. Calderiso was unsure at the time whether or not those items suffered any damage.
The water was eventually drained through a sump-pump system, and the town’s insurance company was called to assess the damage.
The Bristol County Water Authority issued a release of tips to prevent pipes from freezing and breaking during the cold.