Suspect charged after apartment building flood - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Suspect charged after apartment building flood

Gloria Snead (Source: Richmond Fire & Emergency Services) Gloria Snead (Source: Richmond Fire & Emergency Services)

We now know who could be behind a massive flooding that displaced all of the residents at the Grace Place Apartments. Richmond Fire officials say a resident in the apartment tampered with several sprinklers inside of her unit. One of them went off causing all residents to evacuate. The apartments have been condemned since the flooding more than a week ago.

Imagine being told to get up and get out, for 10 days you'd have to live at an emergency shelter, and according to investigators - all because of the actions of one person.

The drama outside of Grace Place Apartments last week caused fear and frustration. All residents were forced out. Many went to the Fifth Baptist Church for emergency shelter.

Ten days later, they are packing up and moving on, but it's not time to head home just yet.

"They're going to give us a hotel until the end of the month…that gives me time to find a new place if I can't go back into Grace Place," says resident Scott McQuilla.

The building is still condemned after Richmond Fire says 56-year-old resident Gloria Snead tampered with several in-door sprinklers. One of them went off causing major water damage from the 8th floor down.

"It's upsetting because her actions displaced a great number of people," McQuilla said.

He tries to keep a positive attitude, though he really wants to return to his own home.

"I've been there give years. I'm accustomed to the place," he said.

It could be a few more weeks before that happens, but disaster and social service officials worked diligently to make sure those displaced won't have to stay another night at the shelter.

"{We were} trying to get them out of a gym. The weather was getting cold. It's not an environment that you'd want to stay for any lengthy period of time," said Paul Hundley with American Red Cross.

So it's moving time again, though none of them ever asked to leave Grace Place.

"I could panic and get upset and be flipping mad but that's not going to accomplish anything for me," McQuilla said.

Snead is charged with felony destruction of property and misdemeanor violation of the state's fire prevention code. Fire officials say they have no idea what Snead was thinking when she allegedly set off the sprinkler.

When the flooding happened, 29 people stayed at the shelter. Over time that number has dwindled. Wednesday night, 10 people stayed there but as of Thursday, all of those displaced now have other living arrangements.

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