Exploding toilets force patients from nursing home

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By Sonia Krishnan

Seattle Times staff reporter

About 70 patients at an Auburn nursing home are being evacuated to nearby facilities today after toilets on the second floor became geysers this morning, authorities said.

No one was injured.

Firefighters arrived around 4 a.m. at the Life Care Center of Auburn at 17th Street Southeast and found a “significant amount of water” on the floors of the two-story building, according to the Valley Regional Fire Authority.

A boiler malfunction appears to be the cause.

“Some hot water got into the cold water pipes and came up through the toilets in a geyser of steam,” said Bill Connell, an administrator at the facility. That, in turn, set off the sprinklers, he said. Water flooded down to the first floor area and the kitchen.

No damage estimates are available at this point.

Patients will be transported to several Life Care sister facilities and other nursing homes in the area that have offered beds, Connell said.

Despite the early-morning mayhem, “the staff did well,” Connell said. “No one even got wet.”

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