Thursday, January 01, 2009

ADPhi-Ann Arbor House Flooded and Burgled

University of Michigan frat house flooded after water pipes burst, may
be linked to burglary

by Art Aisner The Ann Arbor News

About 50 University of Michigan students may be forced to find new housing when they return from the holiday break after their fraternity was severely damaged by broken water pipes over the weekend.

Ann Arbor Police say the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity house had also been buglarized but it was unclear if the incidents were linked.

Police reported they were called about 3:30 p.m. Saturday to the frat house at 556 S. State St. for a possible break-in and found water cascading down the stairways and running through main hallways.

Officers found nearly every bedroom in the structure had been broken into and they suspect numerous items were missing. They won't know for certain until residents can provide an inventory list upon their return from winter break, Detective Sgt. Jim Stephenson said.

It appeared the burglar used a fire escape to reach a second-story bedroom window, which was shattered, Stephenson said.

Pipes in a second-story bathroom and the first-floor kitchen ruptured, and leaked water down to the basement, reports said. It is unclear if the pipes were damaged by burglars or if they burst from weather conditions once the property's interior was exposed to the elements, Stephenson said.

The damage was severe enough to cause ceilings in some rooms to collapse.

City building inspectors were to examine the house this morning to determine if it must be closed because of the severity of the damage.

City fire officials responded to the scene and requested building inspectors to condemn the property as soon as possible because of a safety risk, reports said.

Fraternity members last reported being in the house on Tuesday evening. They were not immediately available for comment.

University officials are assisting the fraternity contact its members and provide assistance with housing.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Ann Arbor Police at 734-994-2878.

Art Aisner can be reached at aaisner@annarbornews.com or 734-994-6823.