Frozen pipes threaten historic Flint building - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Frozen pipes threaten historic Flint building

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(02/25/14) - Many homeowners and businesses have had to deal with bursting water pipes this winter due to unusually cold weather.

For one Flint business, a broken water line is creating an issue for a century old building that depends on water for heat.

It's kind of ironic that water that was once used to put out fires, is now needed to create heat. Red hot elements from a propane heater try to keep an early 20th century former fire station in Flint from getting soaked.

"We haven't had water for about two weeks. A frozen water main coming into the building. The city is telling us that the line coming in is pretty shallow," said Flint City Councilman and Brown and Sons employee Josh Freeman.

Freeman adds, even though the days of putting out fires is long gone, this storage area is still dependent on water.

"No water means no heat for the building. And we're just trying to do whatever we can to keep the inside pipes from bursting so we don't have a bigger issue," he said.

At the turn of the 20th century, steam was a popular method to heat homes and businesses, using boilers. This one remains silent, which poses a concern, according to Freeman.

"The thing is huge. It's been here forever. We got no heat, because we got no water to heat up the place," he said.

If interior pipes burst, this auto business's profits also sink, which is something Brown and Sons or Freeman hope to ward off with electric and propane heaters until help arrives.

"We've got water running through the heating system. We don't want a large expense, having to replace the heater or the units, or the radiators," Freeman said.

Brown and Sons hopes to have the water back on by Tuesday night or Wednesday.

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