Tenants return to Hampton Court Apartments in Northampton after flood


  • Kelsea View holds Duncan, a Bearded Dragon, while waiting for a friend to pick them up after the apartment complex they live in was flooded Monday morning.

  • Deputy Fire Chief, Jon Davine talks about flooding at 20 Hampton Ave. Monday morning displacing many of the tenets.

Staff writer
Published: 6/15/2021 5:39:52 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Cleanup and maintenance crews are still finishing their work at the Hampton Court Apartments after Monday’s flooding, but residents have returned to their homes and the Fire Department said all safety issues have been resolved.

The flooding resulted when a drainage pipe on the roof at 20 Hampton Ave. became disconnected in heavy rain at about 7:30 a.m. Monday. Fire Chief Jon Davine said a section of the building flooded “pretty much from the roof all the way to the basement,” causing an estimated $150,000 in damage.

All 77 units were evacuated because of damage to the electrical and fire alarm systems, which Davine estimated would take several hours to repair.

“The management company did a great job,” Davine said “As far as life safety issues, there are no problems.”

By 4:30 p.m., the fire department gave the all-clear for tenants to return.

“My understanding is that no apartments were damaged, that it was hallway and stairwell damage,” said Richard Henken, president of the Schochet Cos., which manages the property. “Thank God that the residents weren’t inconvenienced in that way.”

No one was injured, and several of those evacuated by police and fire personnel said they were grateful and impressed with the emergency response.

“I ended up calling out of work,” said Michelle Polmatier, a tenant of the building who had been awoken by the fire alarm. “My brother lives over in the Live 55 building, so I hung out there all day.”

Right now, “there are fans everywhere, drying out the water,” she said.

The School Department provided buses to bring displaced residents to the nearby Northampton Senior Center, where the American Red Cross served food to about 30 people.

Less than 48 hours after the incident, some work remained to be done, including the replacement of temporary lighting with permanent fixtures, but Davine said crews have made good progress.

“We feel like it’s our mission to take care of these folks,” said Henken, who singled out property manager Bill Hatzis for special praise for his handling of the situation. “Bill did an amazing job. He really stepped up.”

The Schochet Cos. also manages Hampton Court Apartments, along with the 105-unit Weldon House Apartments, a low-income senior housing development at 54 High St. in Greenfield.


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