Roanoke senior community evacuated after frozen pipe bursts

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Elm Park Estates is in cleanup mode. The freezing temperatures were not kind to the senior living community this weekend. A fourth-floor water leak led to the evacuation of more than 100 seniors --a heroic effort according to staff.

"We have the good fortune here of having a tremendous staff, and living in Roanoke County we have the exceptional fortune of having some of the greatest public servants between the firefighters, police and EMTs," said Richard Brucki, general manager for Elm Park Estates.

After a pipe burst in the sprinkler system on the fourth floor, 105 residents were evacuated. Fortunately, everyone got out safely and it only took a couple hours.

"In the face of a crisis, they banded together with tremendous spirit, tremendous attitudes and organization," said Brucki. 

It truly was a team effort. Roanoke County Fire and EMS helped get residents out while an area senior living facility and an area hotel took residents in. Resident Pansie Murray stopped by Elm Park Monday not for herself but for a friend, who she's planning to stay with for now. 

"There's one lady that I felt maybe needed someone with her, so I am now going over to the Holiday Inn to spend the night with her. Hopefully, they will tell us we can come back tomorrow," said Pansie.

While it was a terrible situation and the timeline for residents to come home is still unclear, Pansie is taking it all in stride.

"I look at things that happen as my new adventure, so this is another new adventure," said Pansie. 

Elm Park staff members say they are hoping to have most of the residents back in the next couple of days. Some of the rooms near the leak will need more renovations.