At most major awards ceremonies and movie screenings, celebrities are used to getting the red carpet treatment. They pull up in their limousines and walk down that long red pathway to the sounds of cheers and the flash of cameras as fans, paparazzi, and big-name news organizations line the path along the famous red carpet.
Red carpet events are almost always occasions for excitement in Hollywood, but the attention is typically more on the celebrities than the carpet that they walk on. However, at the latest Golden Globe Awards ceremony in The Beverly Hilton, the carpet managed to steal the show before the show could even get a proper start.
As the press was getting ready to film the celebrities who are the normal highlights of the show, an errant lighting system was placed too close to the heat sensor for the hotel’s sprinkler system. When the sensor detected the heat from the high-power lighting system, it tripped the emergency fire sprinklers to douse the non-existent fire. The pipes then burst under the strain, flooding the video journalist area of the grounds with roughly 5,000 gallons of water, according to USA Today.
The flooding overtook the red carpet in short order, turning it into a wet carpet. Worse yet, as reported by the New York Post, some of the water that sprayed into the area was from a sewage pipe, which ruined the carpet almost immediately, and that “photos show pieces of the fabric discolored and even peeling up in areas” shortly after the initial spill.
Although the Beverly Hills Fire Department arrived on the scene as soon as possible to help the Beverly Hilton’s staff remove the water and clean up the spill, the damage had already been done. Large sections of the famous rug had to be cut up and replaced because they were too damaged to use for the ceremony later that very night. The Beverly Hilton’s public relations manager, Irine Spivak, deflected the seriousness of the spill with the quip: “we wanted to give the carpet one last wash before it opened.”
From photos taken at the time of the cleanup efforts, it looks like the hotel staff and firefighters used both industrial-strength moisture vacuums as well as push brooms to clear away water and debris trapped on the carpet. One humorous hashtag subject line used in a tweeted photo featured in the USA Today article read #biggestvacuumofalltime, which might not be too far from the truth (industrial-strength water-removal vacuums can get pretty big).
It just goes to show that no carpet is immune to the effects of dirty water flooding, even the famous red carpets of Hollywood can fall victim to flooding damage. Another important lesson that can be taken from the near-disaster at the Golden Globes is the importance of proper maintenance for plumbing pipes. Having a thorough examination done on aging pipes can help prevent such sewage floods from occurring, as you’ll know when to replace them before a burst actually happens.