BRENTWOOD — The New Castle School District’s insurer has taken legal action against a Hudson fire protection company alleging that it was responsible for a sprinkler burst that caused $23,900 in damage to the Maude Trefethen School.
N.H. Public Risk Management Exchange, also known as Primex, filed a complaint against Tri-State Fire Protection LLC in Rockingham County Superior Court seeking to recover the cost of repairs for the sprinkler failure on Feb. 3, 2018.
According to the complaint, problems began on Jan. 11, 2018, when the school’s sprinkler system was damaged by freezing water. Lawyers for Primex said the failed sprinkler system is a “dry” system that’s not supposed to have water in it until there is a fire and water is allowed into the sprinkler pipes and heads.
Tri-State Fire Protection was contacted to repair the damage caused by the system failure, replaced the components that failed, and then took steps to ensure that there were was no water in the sprinkler pipes and heads, the complaint said.
The company was paid for its work and by the end of January 2018 the damage was repaired and the school was fully up and running again, the complaint said.
But the system failed again on Feb. 3, 2018, when a pipe above a classroom ceiling burst.
“The pipe burst due to accumulated water which had not been properly removed from the sprinkler pipe following the January 11, 2018 event. The water froze and led to a pipe burst. When the pipe burst, the pressure in the system was released, allowing water to enter the sprinkler system as if there was an actual fire. Water flowed from the burst pipe until such time as the water was shut off,” the complaint said.
Following the Feb. 3 incident, Primex said it paid $23,900 on the district’s behalf for building and property repair or replacement and water loss remediation.
Primex alleges Tri-State Fire Protection was negligent for failing to completely drain the system after the January incident.
A representative from Tri-State Fire Protection could not be reached for comment.