Another SF luxury high-rise flooded. This time police say it was intentional

Luz Pena Image
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Flooding of luxury SF high-rise was intentional, police say
Another luxury high-rise building in San Francisco flooded as water gushed down the stairway. Police say it was intentional.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It happened again. Another residential high-rise in San Francisco flooded at 5 a.m. on Tuesday.

Residents from 100 Van Ness Ave. woke up to flooded hallways and water bursting through a stairway.

"I opened the stairway and there was a running stream of high pressured water, maybe a foot multiple feet gushing down the stairs," said Andrew, as he left the building.

As water kept cascading through the building, entering apartments and reaching up to 4-feet in some areas in the early morning hours, resident K.J. Kim said there was a delay in the fire alarm. His dog woke him up.

"It was like a fight or flight reaction," said Kim and added, "My dog was continuing to bark. I went to the bathroom and heard some generator noise and there was water falling from the ceiling. So, I said there is something seriously wrong. I went outside and saw the water puddles on the floor. I just got my dog and had to figure out how to get out."

RELATED: Residents of flooded SF luxury apartment building file lawsuit; allege chronic mismanagement, deceit

Residents at the flooded-out luxury San Francisco apartment building 33 Tehama are now suing the building's owner.

As the elevators stopped working, residents evacuated from another stairway. Once outside, they found out the flood was only impacting part of the 30 story building.

Only residents from the 11th floor down knew there was a flood.

Bryan VanDyke lives on the 22nd floor.

"The fire alarm never went off on our floor. We had no indication," said VanDyke.

RELATED: Residents at SF luxury apartment displaced after pipe bursts, flooding all 35 floors

San Francisco firefighters arrived on scene and found a person drenched in water next to a pipe.

"Upon arrival, we were confronted with a person experiencing a behavioral crisis," said Lt. Jonathan Baxter with SF Fire and added, "During the course of this flood, this individual released several stand-pipes throughout the 11th floor. Stand-pipes are common fire protection systems in high rise buildings. For fire protection and lifesaving. We were able to in collaboration with the building management shut - down these stand pipes."

About four hours after the incident, the building's property manager emailed residents categorizing the incident as vandalism.

Michael Nien, 46, was booked into San Francisco County Jail for felony vandalism and resisting or delaying arrest, San Francisco police confirmed in a statement.

Jason Ambrose lives on the 12th floor and was just coming back home from the airport.

Luz Pena: "You are probably spared from this?"

Jason Ambrose: I'm hoping so. I know the garage is also flooded so I'm going to go check on my car next."

EXCLUSIVE: Video shows contractor stealing from vacant SF luxury apartment

Residents of a San Francisco's 33 Tehama that has flooded twice since June are reporting theft and people going inside their vacant apartments.

According to the San Francisco Fire Department residents from 16 units were displaced. Those residents will now be moved to sister properties.

The majority of the water damage in the building was on the 11th floor.

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