Burst pipes knock out elevators at 22-story midtown high rise

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Local firefighters are watching a mid-town skyscraper 24-7 after burst pipes knocked out the elevators, fire alarms and sprinkler system.

The pipes burst Tuesday at the Continental Life Building in the 3600 block of Olive near the Fox Theater. Three hundred and fifty people live in the 22-story building, some of them with physical disabilities. Firefighters are watching the 73-year old Art Deco skyscraper around the clock, and they'll be there until the fire alarm system and the elevators are restored.

"We're waiting to get confirmation that the fire alarm system is online and I think that's in the process of being repaired, if it's not already done," said Captain John Walk of the St. Louis Fire Department. "We're waiting on the elevators to make sure those are operating. At least one of the elevators needs to be operating with this twenty-one-story building. There's some elderly and there's some people who really need the elevator."

The building owner is paying for the fire watch. That's four firemen around the clock, one fireman for each five floors. When the Continental opened in 1930 it was considered one of the premiere office buildings in St. Louis, once housing General Motors, Plymouth, Falstaff, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly, and McGraw Hill.


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