TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Element, a 35-story high rise apartment building in downtown Tampa was evacuated Friday morning due to flooding.
A fire alarm went off inside the building, which is located on North Franklin Street, around 3:30 a.m. after the water main broke on the 27th and 12th floors, and water gushed down to the floors below. The floors above were not affected.
The entire building, which includes 395 units, was evacuated.
“We gotta go to work. We can’t get upstairs to get our badges. My girlfriend is a nurse, so she needs her uniform, and she has to go to work. I have to go to work, and they can’t let us in,” one resident told News Channel 8.
The Tampa Fire Rescue said a member of the building’s security team was trapped in an elevator that stopped working, but was safely removed by firefighters.
One firefighter suffered a minor injury at the scene, but no one else was hurt, officials said.
Inspectors with the fire marshal’s office are working with building management to assess the building before they take further action.
The building is expected to remain closed for several hours. Officials said management is working to find residents accommodations.
Northland, the company that owns The Element, sent 8 On Your Side a statement:
Earlier this morning, a water main break on the 27th floor of Element caused flooding throughout parts of the building. With guidance from the City of Tampa Fire Marshal, we ordered an evacuation and are working with officials and our property team to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. The safety and wellbeing of our residents are our top priorities.
They later sent another statement saying they were cooperating with Tampa Fire & Rescue to repair the water main break.
Our property team is currently working with Tampa Fire & Rescue to assess building safety and security so that all necessary repairs are made after this morning’s water main break. Because the assessment period is ongoing, it is unclear when the building will be allowed to reopen for resident occupancy. Given this, our on-site team is working to secure hotel rooms for Element residents who need them. The safety of our residents is paramount, and we will follow the guidance of public safety officials regarding access to the building.Northland, Owner of Element Tampa
This story is developing and will be updated.