Getting Back on Track After a Fire at Work

On Tuesday, May 22, as I was leaving my 40 hour work week job, the fire alarm sounded.  Since I was leaving for the day, I came home.

The next day, I was not to report to work because the library ( I work in Hale Library at Kansas State University) was closed due to a fire.  Needless to say, the library is still closed.

At an all library staff meeting, it was reported that at least 140,000 gallons of water was pumped into the building to put out the fire. And the first through fourth floors are pretty much a total loss.

The fire started on the slanted roof and my workspace in under the flat roof on the left of the photo.  This is the back side of the building.

The flat roof portion is the 5th floor of the library.  This is the only floor that was not touched by fire or water.  There is smoke damage, but we got off very lucky as 5th floor houses the library administration offices, University Archives/Special Collections/& Rare Books, and a large meeting room we call the Hemisphere Room because of its shape.  We have two inner stacks that were not touched by fire or water.  One of the stack levels is just across the hall from where the water was pumped into the building.

On Wednesday, May 30,  staff was allowed a brief period of time to go into their spaces to collect personal items.  We donned face masks, hard hats, and gloves.  Since there is no electricity in the building everyone had to walk up the steep stairs.  I was so glad that I had been walking these stairs several times each day before the fire.  And I was grateful they had us put on face masks because at the 4th floor, the smell of soot, etc. was horrible.  Once I got to my space, it was smokey and I was happy that I had a powerful flashlight with me as my workspace has no windows so it was very dark in there.

It will be months before staff will be able to get back into the building to work, so, for now, we all have been spread out in various buildings across campus.

The photos below were taken by the Manhattan, Kansas Fire Department on the roof of Hale Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a photo inside the library of what we call the Great Room and students calls the Harry Potter Room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next week, the Wednesday Author Interview Series will be back.

 

 

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One response to “Getting Back on Track After a Fire at Work

  1. Thoughts and prayers…

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