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A guest may have caused a sprinkler pipe to break, sending about 200 people out of the historic hotel

COURTESY PHOTO: GRESHAM FIRE DEPARTMENT - Gresham firefighters try to get the water out of the historic Edgefield hotel. A hotel guest pulling on a sprinkler pipe may have been responsible for a flood that forced the evacuation of nearly 200 people last week from McMenamins Edgefield hotel after water flowed through three floors of the historic building.

Despite the flooding, most everything is open at the popular resort and scheduled events will go on as planned. Check-in for hotel guests with reservations continued, as usual, McMenamins marketing director Renee Rank Ignacio said via email.

She said the hotel had high-powered drying machines working in hallways and rooms "to help dry them out as quickly as possible."

The guests evacuated Wednesday night were able to return to their rooms and gather their belongings and were accommodated at nearby hotels or chose to go home, she said.

"I'm not aware at this point of any damages or loss for any guests," she said.

Ignacio said there was no estimate of the cost of the damage from the flooding at the popular resort.

McMenamins is famous for its art and quirky decorating at all of its venues and Ignacio said nothing irreplaceable was lost at Edgefield. None of the the iconic murals did not appear to be damaged.

The flooding was caused by a broken sprinkler pipe. Ignacio told KOIN 6 news that investigators think the flooding was caused by "guest behavior."

A guest or someone at the hotel may have grabbed the pipe and pulled it down or hung from it, Ignacio told KOIN.

Gresham firefighters initially said the water caused "extensive damage" before they were able to shut off the flow. During the incident, they also shut down power to the building and "had to get creative to divert the excess water flow."

Firefighters used tarps to collect and trap water and funnel it into buckets to protect the floors.

The hotel was originally built in 1911 and was the Multnomah County Poor Farm and a nursing home before it became the hotel and concert venue it is today.

KOIN6, a Pamplin Media news partner, contributed to this story.


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