Library Fire in Dharmshala (Tibet)

3At least one Tibetan was killed in a fire on January 26th, 2009, in a multy story building of the Library of  Tibetan Works and Archives. The library is located in the premises of the headquarter of Tibetan government in-exile.
Two blasting sounds were heard while the building was still on fire. Witnesses say the blasts were of two cooking cylinders. However, the fire did not spread to the lower storey of the building.  The firefighters soon arrived on the scene and started extinguishing the blaze. Due to steep height of the building from ground   level, the water pressure was inadequate to bring the fire under control. However, the fire was brought under control in about 3 hours.
The LTWA is the official National Library, Museum and Archive. The library is now a repository for significant collections of artifacts, manuscripts and other records, while also serving as a centre for language and cultural education.

Hydrant water damages books of California Historical Society

american domeThe California Historical Society reopened on March 2nd, 2009,  after a flood damaged more than 1,500 antique and historic books and its building four months before. On December 2008, a car hit a fire hydrant in front of the society’s Mission Street building causing a geyser several stories high and a flood that seeped through the front doors into the building. Water soaked through the hardwood floors and into the book vault below, damaging the books.
The estimate for restoring the books is about $240,000 and repairing the building is about $60,000. About 20 books are probably unsalvageable, although these items are

expected to be replaced through specialized book dealers. The efforts of restoration technicians and library staff are credited with saving many of the historical texts that date back as far as the 1920s.

After staff arrived at the scene, the waterlogged texts were quickly put into boxes and then into a freezer trailer where the cold fended off the onset of mold growth and deterioration. At Fort Worth, Texas, document facility, 670 soggy books were put in a vacuum freeze-dried container that expels moisture from damaged texts,  At the
Hayward compound of Belfor Property Restoration, nearly 1,000 books were put on specialized racks in sealed rooms equipped with dehumidifiers and fans to draw the water out.

Because the society’s building also was damaged by the flood, crews were called in to remove nearly 2,000 boxes of undamaged books so construction could begin on the waterlogged hardwood floors, insulation and celling of the library.

The privately funded California Historical Society is primarily a library of books, used by researchers and historians. It also houses manuscripts, pictures, documents, artifacts and various texts that chronicle California’s past.

Malfunctioning Sprinkler in Archive

Fire SprinklerA malfunctioning sprinkler head reduced some historical documents kept in Columbia (USA)  by the Missouri State Historical Society to waterlogged paper and soggy cardboard on October 1st, 2009.

Columbia firefighters arrived after receiving a report of a fire alarm sounding in the library and they have found the source of the alarm to be an activated sprinkler head in a storage room. The room was used to hold documents, in the lower level of the library.

Probably, it was some sort of mechanical failure in the head of the sprinkler system, which did cause water discharge. Firefighters shut off the sprinkler head and began cleaning the storage room. “In some cases, they may not be salvageable,” Executive Director Gary Kremer said.

Three shelves of books and documents were soaked. No one was in the room when the sprinkler head was triggered. “If the same system of sprinklers is throughout the facility, there are rooms — for example our art gallery — has tens of millions of dollars of artwork in it,” Mr Kremer said. “If the sprinklers were to malfunction there, that would be a catastrophe.”