An entire floor of a San Francisco skyscraper has been relocated due to flooding caused by a tenant who officials say damaged a high-pressure fire hose.
Residents of the 100 luxury Van Ness apartments woke up Tuesday morning to the sound of fire alarms in their building due to flooding, with some describing the incident as a scene from the movie Titanic.
“One of the stairwells was completely flooded,” resident KJ Kim said. “There was water dripping from the stairs above. I had to use the other stairs.”
All residents living on the 11th floor of the building have been moved, according to the San Francisco Fire Department. Firefighters also said some units on the lower floors were also damaged.
As residents waited outside with firefighters, they also saw a tenant being taken away.
“All I saw was someone on a stretcher and they were covered in some sort of blanket,” Kim said. “And they were transported in an ambulance.”
Fire crews and building management found a tenant on the 11th floor who had somehow damaged a high-pressure firefighting water line. The tenant, identified as Michael Nien, was described as being in a “behavioral crisis”.
Nien, 46, has since been arrested by police. He faces charges of vandalism and resisting arrest.
SFFD Lt. Jonathan Baxter said he had never seen anyone open a building hydrant before.
“There are a lot of processes a person would have to go through to get the water to start flowing,” Baxter said. “It’s not something very easy to open the water.”
A letter to residents said elevators were among the things damaged by the floods.
NBC Bay Area contacted the 100 Van Ness for details on the number of damaged units, but did not hear back.