Sprinkler system breaks at Seymour Middle School; classrooms flood

SEYMOUR, Tenn. (WATE) - Custodial crews from Seymour Middle School worked through the afternoon Tuesday after the school's sprinkler system broke. 

"Some of my custodial staff came in and they've been working diligently for several hours, but we're going to need a professional cleaning crew to take care of the rest of it," said Principal David Loy. 

Loy said six classrooms, the cafeteria and a bathroom were part of the damage. An inch of water sat in a hallway before crews swept it towards drains or outside. 

"The coupling of a waterline broke and it could, very possible, with the temperatures what they've been - due to the temperatures," said Loy. 

With temperatures as low in East Tennessee as they've been lately, Seymour Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief John Linsenbigler says they're called to homes with pipes that break. 

"If houses were built in the last 20 years for code, usually they're built with the frost line in mind so they won't have that issue. Outside water sources, mobile homes, that don't have the skirting and in those situations, unfortunately, can potentially break," said Linsenbigler. 

Pipes aren't the only concern in temperatures this low. Linsenbigler says to be cautious of trying a new heat source without the proper instructions. 

"If you try using a different heat source that you're not used to, whether it's kerosene or propane, make sure you follow manufacturers instructions on how to properly use that heat source," said Linsenbigler. 

Other reminders in temperatures below freezing: 

  • Wear layers outside, even if it's only for a short time 
  • Have your chimney inspected before using
  • Make sure smoke detectors are working

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