Caution wet floor

Tamir Kalifa

Hundreds of students, staff and faculty evacuated the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center Building A after a moving company employee accidentally struck a fire safety sprinkler Thursday.

The employee hit the sprinkler while carrying a tall cabinet through a fourth floor hallway. The rupture triggered a surge of water that flooded the hallway and spilled into the third floor lobby.

Jeff Toreki, College of Communication finance manager, shut off the water valve within six minutes. Austin firefighters helped channel water into the stairwell to prevent additional damage.

The leak affected several linear feet of wall board and several square feet of carpet, said Jason Shoumaker, building services supervisor for the college. The college has not yet determined the cost of the damages.

The building reopened within an hour, and classes resumed shortly afterward.