DON’T blame the roof — Warrnambool’s infamous leaky night at the theatre was definitely caused by a fire sprinkler, city council chief executive Bruce Anson declared to dispel a flood of rumours.
“We’ve had the CFA, fire sprinkler contractors and architects check it out and all confirmed it was caused when heat from a light activated a sprinkler,” he said.
“Now we’ve got to work out whether we move the sprinkler or install a higher rated sensor. Heat from one of the floodlights softened the solder and wax around the sprinkler head, causing it to go off.”
A packed house in the $9 million redeveloped Lighthouse Theatre on June 2 for a Divine Divas performance was abruptly halted when water from a sprinkler poured over patrons in the first five rows. In following days the sodden carpet was removed and replaced and the sprinkler rectified.
“At least we know the sprinklers work and a problem has been identified early,” Mr Anson said.
“If it happened during a performance by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra where musicians are further back towards the seating things could have been messy.”
He said it was estimated a tonne of water rained down on the seats and carpet at the rate of a litre a second.
He said the damage bill would be discussed with insurers.