The Pleasant Park Place assisted living facility was evacuated last week Friday due to water leaking from the walls and ceiling above a gas fireplace.
No injuries were reported and residents were allowed back into their apartments later that night after officials cleared the area.
Ripon Area Fire District (RAFD) Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sabel said the building’s sprinkler system had been activated and caused a crawl space to get very hot. There was no fire inside the facility.
Because first responders didn’t know what was going on right away, Sabel said everyone was evacuated to ensure safety while firefighters inspected the building.
“It looked like a lot early on, but — until we could actually find what we had — we had to err on the side of caution,” he said.
According to Sabel, RAFD was called around 2:45 p.m. and cleared the scene around 5 p.m.
Everything was repaired and all residents were back inside by about 7:30 p.m., he added.
“We were just making sure that we were able to get a hold of a sprinkler company and that they were on their way,” Sabel said.
He praised the efforts of Pleasant Park Place residents and staff in cooperating with first responders.
“The staff was very helpful,” he said. “They did everything they could to get their residents away from the front of the building.”
When first responders arrived, he said there were two people left in the building, who required special lifts and assistance to move.
“The ambulances came to help us get the people out of the building,” Sabel said. “They just happened to be on opposite ends of the building, so we got the closest one out first and then we got the furthest one out second.”
He added that residents were able to utilize a common area in an apartment building across the street while officials worked to handle the situation at Pleasant Park Place.
Overall, he praised everyone’s efforts to remain calm and stay safe during a tense situation.