Water, Water Everywhere: Fire Officials Respond To Nearly 100 Leaks, Burst Pipes

The influx in calls was due to the drastic change in temperature.

Photo Via Boston Fire Department

Photo Via Boston Fire Department

The extreme change in the weather—from below freezing temperatures, to warmer conditions—led to a busy weekend for Boston’s Fire Department, as they fielded nearly 100 calls from around the city where pipes burst or cracked, sending a flood of water into residential and business properties.

“Over the past 48 hours, firefighters have responded to over 75 water leak incidents. These extreme temperatures are the issue,” said Steve MacDonald, a spokesman from the Fire Department.

The temperature shifts were as unexpected as the number of problems that plagued various parts of Boston throughout the weekend, including several water main breaks that led to sinkholes forming in the middle of some streets, and excessive flooding in people’s basements.

One call MacDonald and his crew responded to was at an MIT fraternity in Kenmore Square, where a burst pipe filled the frat’s basement on Bay State Road with nearly 10 feet of water, submerging the boilers completely. The city’s water and sewer department was called to the scene to help deal with the excess water caused by the leaking pipe.

The same day that firefighters showed up at the MIT frat, they dealt with a sprinkler pipe that burst on the third floor of a building in Jamaica Plain. The pipe caused water damage to all floors and the basement, and sections of the ceiling gave way, MacDonald said.

The busy weekend rushing from one spot to the next to relieve residents of water damage and flood issues was preceded by a burst pipe at the Shops at the Prudential Center, where a large leak led to gallons of water crashing down into the retail space below, and forcing a partial evacuation. Not long after, a pipe that cracked at the AMC Loews Theatre on Boston Common forced the theatre to close down for the night on a typically busy evening when new movies were premiering.

Boston wasn’t the only area dealing with leaky pipes, either.

Over in Cambridge, first responders had their own set of problems, as they were forced to clear out 98 people from the YWCA on Sunday night, into the cold, after the frigid temperatures caused a main to break, spilling five-feet of water into the property.