Sprinkler mishap damages Saks at Owings Mills Mall


The Saks Fifth Avenue store at Owings Mills Mall got a dousing yesterday morning when its fire sprinkler system went off by accident, causing extensive water damage.

A water main carrying water to the store's fire sprinkler system broke open about 9 a.m., according to Samantha Ostertag, assistant mall manager.

"As soon as water rushes through the system, the whole system of sprinklers comes on," Ms. Ostertag said. "It stays on until you can get to the main valve to turn it off."

Before the sprinklers were turned off, they caused heavy water damage on both floors of the two-story, 93,000-square-foot anchor store, Ms. Ostertag said.

"I thought it was very nice of Hecht's to send down a Wet-Vac [vacuum cleaner]," Ms. Ostertag said. "We sent down ours with a couple of people to help out as well."

Saks is one of three anchor tenants at the 140-store mall. The rest of the mall is unaffected by the problem, Ms. Ostertag said.

Saks' sprinkler system was installed as part of the construction of the store and is separate from the rest of the mall, she said.

Lola Abt, manager of the Saks store, could not be reached for comment.

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