Fire closes Hernando library - WFLA News Channel 8

Fire closes Hernando library

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BROOKSVILLE, FL (WFLA) -

The state Fire Marshal's office is looking into what sparked a fire that damaged a Hernando County library.

Fire crews responded to the East Hernando Branch Library around 2:00 AM Saturday morning after receiving an alarm from the structure.  When the first crews arrived, they were able to quickly extinguish the flames at the rear of the structure, but the smoke activated the building's sprinkler system, drenching the inside of the library and many of its contents.

"Water and smoke damage are bad in themselves," said Hernando Fire Rescue District Chief Kristian Sloane.  "But when you add them to a library full of books, you can understand where we're headed with that so it's going to take them a little while to get it cleaned. "

Sloane says the fire started in a lanai in the rear of the facility, where patio furniture had been moved around and stacked.  While that does seem unusual, he says it's too early in the investigation to call the fire suspicious.

"I'm not going to get into causes whether it's suspicious but it's a late night, it's out here rural," said Sloane.  "Some of the furniture was moved around some different things it is commercial so that's why we turned it over to the fire marshal. "

On Saturday afternoon, clean up crews descended on the library working to clean it up and dry it out. Sloane says some of the drywall in the building will likely have to be replaced because of the possibility of mold, as well as books and other materials in the building. Right now county officials have not reached a dollar amount for the damage.

The library will be closed until further notice. Staff at the library plan to meet up on Monday to determine where to locate a drop off location for library materials on the east side of the county while that facility is closed. Residents can also drop off materials at the main library in Brooksville. Those wanting to renew their books can do so on line.

We've put a link to the library system's website here.

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