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Advisory: Carpenter Reading Room Fire

Library users asked to avoid area during cleanup

The Carpenter Reading Room on the third floor of Bostock Library will be temporarily closed so that work can be done to repair damage from a small fire.

The fire occurred at approximately 4 a.m. on June 10, when a light fixture in the Carpenter Reading Room malfunctioned. Wesley Laws, a member of the housekeeping staff, spotted the fire soon after it started, notified the fire department, and put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, averting a more serious disaster.

An emergency services cleanup crew is currently onsite cleaning up residue from the fire extinguisher. Most of the foam dust is confined to the reading room, although a small amount has drifted onto the adjacent stack area.

Books, carpet, and furniture are being vacuumed and air scrubbers are being used to pull fire extinguisher residue from the air. The Occupational and Environmental Safety Office and the University's Facilities Management Department have both inspected the site and will investigate the cause of the fire. 

In the meantime, the Duke University Libraries would like to thank Wesley Laws for his quick thinking and also kindly ask library users to avoid the Carpenter Reading Room area until the damage can be repaired and the room made serviceable again.

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Posted 10 June 2011

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Last modified June 10, 2011 12:13:20 PM EDT