Downtown disaster averted - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Downtown disaster averted

June 29, 2005

Albany-- The electrical fire that caused smoke damage to the main branch of the Dougherty County Public Library could have been much worse. The arcing electricity could have ignited the gas main only a few feet away.

In that case, horrendous damage and possibly even fatalities would have resulted.

As it was, the Albany Fire Department only had to contain the fire to a small portion of the library, where there was significant smoke damage, and the loss of Internet connectivity for all the Albany libraries, and those of several surrounding towns.

WG&L experts say that age and constant expansion and contraction of electrical cables combined to create a short in a secondary distribution line between the transformer and the main panel of the multi-story library building caused the fire.

The library could be closed as long as a week while the damage is being repaired. Internet connectivity to the libraries fed by the central library should be restored today.

The damage to the building was estimated at $10,000. No books were damaged.


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