A year after a Southbank hotel was flooded with 400,000 litres of water by a drug-addled guest, a court has heard that he was found trying to clean his mess up with a single mop.
After opening fire hydrants on 18 levels of the Experience Bella Hotel, The Herald Sun has reported that Bradley Vogt, 28, was allegedly trying to mop up his $1.4 million mess, forcing the evacuation of more than 100 guests.
Among those evacuated were guests Andrew Hannah, his wife and 15-month-old daughter, who were forced to wade through water up to their ankles in the middle of the night.
“A loud alarm went off — scared the hell out of me,” Hannah told ABC News.
“It couldn’t have come at a worse time. It was a nice romantic night, so we were pretty unlucky in timing.”
Hannah said it was scary heading downstairs with a young child in ankle-deep water.
“Our instinct was to use the elevator, but that wasn’t the smartest thing to do,” he said.
“It was pretty difficult to get down the stairs, really not knowing what was going on. It was quite scary.”
When fire crews arrived at the Experience Bella Hotel, Southbank, at around 10pm in May last year, water was pouring out the front door; 120 people inside were forced to leave by the stairs, according to ABC News.
Further details of the event have since emerged in the Melbourne Magistrates Court that Vogt had consumed a substantial combination of ice, cannabis and GHB before heading to the fire escape about 9:20pm, prosecutor Craig McConaghy told the court on Tuesday, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
Vogt allegedly then opened all fire hydrants between levels one and 18, releasing 432,000 litres of water. Within 10 minutes, it was ankle-deep and pouring out the front door.
Prosecutor McConaghy said firefighters found Vogt on level 10 with a mop in his hands, attempting to soak up the ankle-deep water.
Firefighters asked if he’d turned the hydrants on, to which Vogt nodded, the prosectuor said. Vogt was asked to go downstairs and join the rest of the 300 or so guests and residents forced to evacuate, The Sun reported.
But as more firefighters headed upstairs they found the level-four hydrant on again; Vogt was found at level eight lying on the stairs, mop still in hand, with water washing over him.
Vogt was then taken to the manager’s office, but when police tried to talk to him, he allegedly lashed out violently at four officers, as seen in 7 News Australia’s report.
The Sun reported that more police arrived to help as Vogt was sedated, and he continued to lash out until he was strapped to a stretcher.
A bag containing 1.4g of methamphetamine and an ice pipe were found in the manager’s office after Vogt was removed, and another gram was later found was allegedly found in his underwear.
Vogt is facing seven charges, including intentionally damaging property, resisting emergency workers, interfering with a hydrant and trafficking ice.