Waterville, ME Library Fire, May 1959

Waterville, ME Library 1910, photo from familyoldphotos.com Library Fire


Waterville, Maine (AP) -- Fire swept the Waterville Public Library today and destroyed 5,000 of the institution's most valuable books. More than 30,000 other publications were saved or only slightly damaged.
No one was in the two-story brick building when the blaze was discovered by a patrolman walking his Main street beat. Fire Chief RALPH GILMAN said the fire apparently started near the library's power entrance board in the basement.
He said flames followed a ventilator through the 54-year-old structure, a landmark near the downtown business section, and shot through the roof, part of which collapsed.
The rescued books were in a so called stack room in the rear of the building which was not directly touched by the flames. Among books destroyed were a Rotary memorial collection.
City and library officials scheduled a meeting for today to discuss the extent of loss.

Portsmouth Herald New Hampshire 1959-05-02