PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — A Portsmouth business is forced to close for the second time in a year after the same pipe burst inside the building.
Stalise, along with two neighboring stores, suffered water damage after the recent cold snap, forcing the businesses to close during the cleanup process.
“It was just so surreal,” said Stalise co-owner Lisa Hurd. “So devastating and so heart wrenching because we worked so hard on this beautiful store.”
A sprinkler pipe in the attic of the building burst in the extreme cold Monday morning, destroying the second-floor offices.
Two first floor businesses that recently opened were also forced to close.
“Three months of business is a lot to lose,” added Stalise co-owner Stacey Downing. “It was alive out here – there was so much energy and then ‘boom,’ this happens.”
What happened wasn’t unusual for a lot of places because of the subzero temperatures, but for Stacey and Lisa, this is the second straight year that the same pipe has ruined their business.
“I thought we were safe, I thought we were in good standings here,” said Lisa.
However, they are promising an even better grand re-re-opening this time.
“I think we’re moving in the right direction to get this opened,” Lisa said.
The co-owners say their insurance company is trying to figure out how the same pipe froze over yet again.
The Deputy Fire Chief of the Portsmouth Fire Department said the pipe is in an unheated area of the attic and that the attic design likely needs to be reworked.