Pipe burst damages Providence police offices, some files

Driving past theProvidence Public Safety Complex, you can see police cruisers parked next tocleaning trucks.

A quick look insideexplains why.

"This particular officegot decimated," said Col. Hugh Clements of the Providence Police Department,who gave a tour Monday of the worst of the damage.

He said in the corner ofan office, a sprinkler pipe attached to the sprinkler head, "experienced somecool air draft from the outer wall" and caused a 3 or 4-inch pipe to burst.

The burst happened atabout 2 p.m. Saturday on the third floor.

Clements said he doesn'tknow what caused the burst, but said it spilled about 4 inches of water intothe detective and special victim units, which now have to be aired out.

Despite the sound of fansand vacuums, detectives are still working in the building.

"We haven't missed a beat,in all honesty," Clements said.

The water also damagedcomputers, copiers, and other police files. Clements said some of the files arethe only copies the department had.

However, Clements said thecleaning company can dry the files.

"At this point, it doesn'tlook like we'll lose any case files or case files that will jeopardize criminalcases," he said.

There were also some electricalproblems too.

"Minor burning on thecarpeting and the wall. You can smell it," Clements said.

Clements said the problemswill be investigated by the department.

"We'll be doing a fullreview of the building to ascertain if we have further problems ahead of us,"he said.