The cause of the massive water damage and the evacuation of a high-rise building in Berlin-Mitte over the weekend was a broken pressure valve on the special water line for the fire brigade.

The last test of this fire extinguishing line was in July 2021, the housing association WBM announced on Tuesday. “The system did not show any abnormalities.”

The water shooting out on the eleventh floor of the 20-story high-rise on Leipziger Strasse primarily damaged power lines in cable shafts and the elevator shafts, where the water was high, on Saturday evening. “The extent to which the apartments are affected by water damage cannot yet be conclusively assessed,” said WBM spokesman Matthias Borowski on Tuesday.

The lines and shafts now have to be repaired or replaced. A replacement power line is to be laid in the next two weeks.

About 300 people from the 168 apartments had to leave the house. Among them were many old people. Some of them now live in hotels. The housing association will pay for the costs.

[If you want to have all the latest news live on your mobile phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]

In high-rise buildings, separate water pipes are laid for the fire brigade because their hoses and pumps do not reach the upper floors. These fire extinguishing lines with a larger diameter have suitable connections for extinguishing hoses with corresponding valves on all floors, mostly near the stairwell.