Wild Horse Gallery recovers from water damage, plans to re-open Wednesday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A water leak that damaged several paintings and partially flooded the storage room of the Wild Horse Gallery has been fixed.
A cleaning crew from ServiceMaster Clean worked Tuesday to remove excess water from the downtown gallery and replace the flooring in the storage room.
Richard Galusha, a co-owner of the gallery and a contributing artist, said they are still assessing the damage, but so far, only one art piece has been irrevocably destroyed.
“We were really, really lucky,” he said.
The flooding occurred sometime Saturday after a broken pipe from a room inside the Freemasonry Elk Mountain Lodge above Wild Horse leaked water into the gallery’s storage room, according to Cpt. Scott Hetrick of Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue.
Someone had left a window in a room of the lodge open, Hetrick said. That caused a pipe in the building to freeze and burst. As temperatures warmed on Saturday, the pipe thawed and leaked water into the gallery below.
A passerby noticed water spilling from the gallery onto the sidewalk at around 7 p.m. Saturday and contacted emergency responders. The leak eventually tripped a fire alarm.
Steamboat Fire Rescue firefighters and Steamboat Springs Police Department officers responded to the incident and tried to contact owners from the gallery and the Elk Mountain Lodge. They could not contact either owners, forcing firefighters to use axes to knock down the doors to the two businesses.
At the time, Galusha and Shirley Stocks, the other co-owner of Wild Horse Gallery, were having dinner across the street from the gallery. Neither of them had cellphone service and could not be reached by emergency responders.
“We didn’t know what was going on until we came outside,” Galusha said.
Firefighters immediately worked to move paintings out of the storage room and away from the water. Galusha and Stocks worked with them late into the night to prevent further damage.
Stocks said a large amount of water had accumulated in the storage room where she and Galusha keep paintings and unused frames.
Galusha said, fortunately, many of the paintings had protective coatings that prevented significant damage. Some of the frames will need to be repaired or replaced, and some paintings will be restored.
“Pretty much anything that got damaged is replaceable,” Stocks said.
She agreed with Galusha they were fortunate to have only lost one painting, a piece from a Denver-based artist.
“It could have been much, much worse,” she said.
Bruce Hinde, a treasurer for the Steamboat Springs’ Masons that owns the Elk Mountain Lodge, said the flooding minimally affected the lodge. The water affected a small portion of the wood floor in a storage room. Hinde said the wood held up well, and the Masons will not need to replace it.
“It’s good, old Routt County wood, I imagine,” he said.
Stocks said the Wild Horse Gallery will re-open its doors Wednesday.
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