TIVERTON — A broken water line caused by frozen pipes brought the Tiverton Fire Department, National Grid, and the town building inspector to the old Central Fire Station at 1449 Main Road on Monday afternoon.
“The call came in at 1:55 p.m. from a neighbor who saw water coming out of the front doors,” said Tiverton Fire Department Lieutenant Robert Gagnon at the scene.
The present owner of the building, Russell Doane, 77, was out-of-town in Cambridge, Mass. over the weekend and arrived as the incident was unfolding.
Mr. Doane bought the building from the Town of Tiverton for $76,200 in 1996, town records show. A retired electronics engineer, he said he divides his time between a residence in the old station and Cambridge.
Tiverton Fire Chief Robert Lloyd, also at the scene Monday mid-afternoon, said, “the building is now condemned because it’s unlivable because of the water damage.” He said Tiverton Building Inspector Gareth Eames had already inspected the premises.
The basement of the building was completely flooded, with empty cans and trash floating on the surface. The water supply to the building has been cut off.
National Grid cut electrical power to the premises. In addition, the circuit box to the building is out-dated and no longer legal, said fire officials, and would need to be replaced before the building could reopen.
“There’s a lot of damage,” said Chief Lloyd.
“In this cold weather, people need to keep enough warmth in their homes to keep the pipes from freezing,” Chief Lloyd said.
Town records show the old fire station, which is located at the intersection of Highland and Main Roads, is assessed for tax purposes at $218,100.
Now designated as a single family residence, it consists of three rooms — one-and-a-half bathrooms, an upstairs bedroom, a downstairs area formerly used to house fire trucks and a cooking area. It has a carport, a deck, and a basement (now flooded).