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Fitton flooded Christmas Eve

Hamilton, Ohio – Too many reindeer on the roof?

That’s as good a guess as any as to why a sprinkler at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts broke loose late Christmas Eve, flooding part of the building at 101 S. Monument Street, Hamilton, Ohio 45011.

“We’re just grateful nobody was here when it happened and nobody was hurt,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director. “Anything damaged in the flooding can be replaced, but people can’t be.

“We got the call about 10 p.m. After the burst, everything worked like it was supposed to. The alarm sounded, the Hamilton Fire Department responded, our amazing team was here withing 15 minutes and we’ve already started cleaning up as best we can, given the time.”

The Hamilton Fire Department shut off the water to the fire suppression system when they arrived.

The complete extent of the damage is as yet unknown, but appears to be limited to the first-floor entry foyer area and office space. Items in the flooded area have taken to dry parts of the building to be catalogued and assessed.

“Thankfully none of the pieces in our FotoFocus exhibition appear to be damaged,” MacKenzie-Thurley said. “It looks like one of the display cases from the Bake Sale (the Fitton gift shop stocked with art created by the center’s members, students and teachers) has had water damage, but most of the art in it looks like it will be OK once we dry it off.”

Dec. 24 was the first day of the scheduled week-long holiday break for the Fitton Center; staff worked from home Dec. 23 in the wake of the blizzard that tore through the Tri-State. Those sub-freezing temperatures – not the reindeer – are the likely culprit for the burst pipes.

“If something like this has to happen, in some ways the timing is good,” MacKenzie-Thurley said. "This would have been a lot worse next week with people in the building for New Year’s Eve. “As it stands, this shouldn’t affect our patrons, our guests or our students too much, if at all. Unfortunately, though, our team will have to put in some unexpected time over the break to make sure we’re tip-top for New Year’s Eve and our return to regular business hours Jan. 2.

“We’ll make sure the team gets that time off later. Nobody works harder at keeping their facilities beautiful than our team. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who came in so quickly on Christmas Eve and just got right to work right away, no questions, no complaints. They’re the best. And most definitely on the ‘Nice List.’”

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.

Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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