Broken pipe causes ‘significant damage’ at Johnson County nonprofit

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SHAWNEE, Kan. — A Johnson County organization that works with abused children needs thousands of dollars in repairs after a pipe to a fire sprinkler burst during the cold weather last week.

It happened at Sunflower House in Shawnee when the building was full of people.

“Unfortunately, the incident happened in the middle of the afternoon while we had staff and families in our building.  As the water came gushing through the ceiling into our main great room, families and staff were extremely alarmed and they all reported smelling smoke and burning,” Judi Rodman, Sunflower House’s CEO, said.

Firefighters determined there wasn’t a fire, and no one was injured, but Rodman said all of the water caused significant damage.

Sunflower House says two-thirds of its building is damaged. The hallways, main waiting room, staff kitchen, training room, and staff offices were all impacted.

The organization said it had to cancel programs for several days before moving them to a different location because of all of the damage.

Sunflower House said it needs financial support to cover the insurance deductible and extra costs incurred with moving programs to different locations.

The organization says it can still provide forensic interviews and family advocacy meetings in various law enforcement locations. It’s also offering therapy services through telehealth appointments.  

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