A water main break flooded the first floor of a university building in Keene Friday evening.
The Keene Fire Department arrived at Antioch University New England on Avon Street just before 6 to find water from one end of the structure to the other, according to Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey Chickering. It was more than 6 inches deep in some areas, he added.
Firefighters pumped water from both inside and outside the building, Chickering said. With transformers nearby, the department also called in Eversource to shut off the power. Chickering estimated Keene Fire was on the scene for four or five hours, pumping water and working with utility companies to ensure there were no electrical hazards or gas leaks, he said.
A lead-based sealing material surrounding the 125-year-old water main was ultimately what gave way, Keene Public Works Director Kürt Blomquist said this morning.
Crews finished clearing the scene today, and will be back during the week to check in on other parts of the operation, Blomquist added.
As for a possible cause, Blomquist said the department monitored last week’s 2.1 magnitude earthquake in Tilton, and a small number of water main breaks can be expected to follow any seismic activity.
Representatives from the university could not be reached for further information on the damage.