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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Pipe malfunction causes one-hour evacuation from Madison Hall

Zachary Schonfeld | Photographer
A cracked water pipe in Madison Hall Saturday morning caused leaks across four rooms and the basement lounge.

Residents were evacuated from Madison Hall for about an hour Monday after a steam pipe valve misfunction, officials said.

University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said students were temporarily evacuated from the residence hall at about 10 a.m. after excess steam was released throughout the building. She said facilities staff and GW Police Department officers needed to assess the building for any immediate substantial damage.

GWPD officers and staff members in the housing office and the Center for Student Engagement were on site to assist residents and answer questions, Csellar said.

Officials notified students of the incident in an email early Monday, which said Madison is heated by steam that flows into rooms through pipes that run to radiators. Each radiator features a valve, which can get damaged or break off “from time to time,” the email, which was obtained by The Hatchet, states.

Officials said steam escaped through a hole in a radiator where the valve should have been.

“Today was the first time that the heat came on this season,” the email states. “Once it did, we received reports that several rooms in the building were filling up with steam.”

Officials said in the email that they visited every room in the building to assess any problems and told students that the heating system was repaired and functioning normally.

Residents also received an email from Greg Rheault, the Madison Hall director, at about 11:12 a.m. notifying them that they could return to the building.

“Facilities personnel will remain on site working on the building heating system today,” he said in the email. “Additional information will be forthcoming from facilities but wanted to get a quick update out to residents that you are able to return to your rooms.”

Zach Schonfeld contributed reporting.

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