Fitton Center in Hamilton floods on Christmas Eve

Firefighters were called to the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton on Saturday night after a sprinkler burst and caused flooding.

The alarm sounded and the Hamilton Fire Department responded. Fitton Center officials got the call about the incident around 10 p.m. Christmas Eve.

“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.

The amount of damage to the building on Monument Avenue is still being assessed, but it was limited to the first-floor entry foyer area and office.

“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.”

Saturday was the first day of the scheduled week-long holiday break for the Fitton Center, officials said. The extreme cold being experienced in the region may have caused the pipe to burst.

“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.’”

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