Patient Allegedly Breaks Fire Sprinkler to Shower, Floods Hospital Floor

The patient asked a nurse for a towel to shower, then allegedly broke the sprinkler in his room

A Maryland hospital patient allegedly caused thousands of dollars in flood damage Sunday night when he broke the fire sprinkler in his room to take a shower, state fire officials said.

Chad Allen Callis, a 37-year-old Hagerstown man hospitalized at Meritus Medical Center, asked a nurse for towels to take a shower, the Maryland State Fire Marshal's office said. Minutes after returning to his room, the fire alarm went off and staff saw water coming from his room in the west wing of the hospital.

"Deputy State Fire Marshals concluded Callis had intentionally damaged the fire sprinkler which caused flooding to occur throughout the hospital floor," the state fire marshal's office said.

Callis was arrested and charged with causing a false alarm and malicious destruction of property, then released from custody. If convicted, he could face up to five years of jail time and $5,500 in fines.

Fire officials said the activation of the fire alarm system and flood clean up caused an estimated $2,000 in damages.

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