Police: Frustrated woman in ER sets off sprinklers, floods hospital rooms

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Laura Samuel (Jail booking photo)

GRESHAM, Ore. (KPTV) — A woman who wanted out of the emergency room is now in jail facing arson charges after police said she triggered the sprinkler system and flooded multiple hospital rooms.

Laura Samuel, 33, was taken to Mount Hood Medical Center in Gresham early Friday morning for an evaluation.

Police said she became frustrated with how long it was taking for her to be discharged, so, hoping to accelerate the process, she first broke the telephone in her room.

“Not drawing the attention she desired, Samuel appears to have then used the phone’s battery to break a fire alarm light in a nearby hallway bathroom,” according to a Gresham Police Department release.

Breaking the light did not sound the alarm, however, so investigators said Samuel then focused her attention on the hospital’s sprinkler system.

Police said Samuel used a heat source to damage the wax plug on a sprinkler in the bathroom. That initiated the alarm and sprinkler system, unleashing 60 gallons of water per minute into two bathrooms, the adjoining hallway and three hospital rooms.

The extensive cleanup efforts made three rooms unusable for several hours.

Samuel was arrested on charges of arson, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. She was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

(Photo: Gresham Police Department)

(Photo: Gresham Police Department)

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