Hotel Rio Vista co-owner Paul Taylor, left on balcony, leads a contractor from SimplexGrinnell, which specializes in fire protection systems, to check out water-damaged rooms at the hotel in Winthrop. Photo by Don Nelson

Hotel Rio Vista co-owner Paul Peterson, left on balcony, leads a contractor from SimplexGrinnell, which specializes in fire protection systems, to check out water-damaged rooms at the hotel in Winthrop. Photo by Don Nelson

A fire sprinkler system breakage caused substantial water damage to Hotel Rio Vista in Winthrop last Saturday, but co-owner Paul Peterson said Monday (Dec. 23) that he expects about two-thirds of the hotel’s 29 rooms will be available by the coming weekend.

Peterson said he learned of the problem at about 6:45 a.m. Saturday, after the breakage tripped an automatic alarm that brought trucks from Okanogan County Fire District 6 to the scene.

Seventeen rooms were affected, Peterson said, with most of the damage to carpets and bedding. Nine rooms suffered water damage to walls, ceilings or floors and will require more repairs, Peterson said.

Peterson said he was grateful for the response of contractors, firefighters and local residents who reacted quickly to help with clean-up and repairs.

The cause of the breakage isn’t clear yet, Peterson said. Possibilities include frozen pipes or a faulty valve, he said.

Peterson said that visitors with reservations at the hotel have been contacted and other local lodging arrangements were made where necessary.