Hanger triggers flooding

23:58, Mar 16 2014

It was all rock and roll when a tenant of Malbas Backpackers decided to hang a coat hanger from a sprinkler system, causing mass flooding to the hotel and the nightclub below.

Malbas Backpackers manager and caretaker Darren McLean said he was running an errand last Saturday and when he returned at about 6.30pm, the alarms were set off.

One of the tenants had hung a coat hanger from a sprinkler, setting off sprinklers throughout the building.

The building was flooded and leaked through the ceiling into Malbas Night Club Nelson, which was not affiliated to the backpackers.

Mr McLean understood the night club had to close its back bar on the Saturday night. It was "obviously a shame but the same could be said to all of us", he said.

"It was just one of those unfortunate things that happens."


The backpackers was not extensively damaged, he said.

All the computers and electrical equipment had to be removed for a week.

They had lost some business as they had to turn customers away, but hoped insurance would cover the loss, he said.

The owner was contemplating taking the perpetrator, who no longer lived at the backpackers, to the disputes tribunal.

Meanwhile, the Malbas Night Club general manager Craig Seelen said damage from the sprinklers was phenomenal. "You can imagine if you have sprinklers going non-stop running for 30 minutes, it has to go somewhere."

Most of the 11 staff, who relied on the income, had to be sent home, which was upsetting.

The nightclub got 80 per cent of its weekly income from people partying on a Saturday night.

A huge process involving lawyers and insurance was sure to follow, he said.

The club was back in action at the weekend.