A fire took place July 27 at the Cedar Rapids Public Library in downtown Cedar Rapids, and while it was relatively small, the staff there now says the damage is going to take at least another month to clean up. Our news partner KCRG posted newly-released images of the fire damage, seen below.

 

The fire started from a light fixture in the library's commons area, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and was quickly put out with sprinklers and fire extinguishers. No one was injured and while some of the library's materials sustained some damage, thankfully almost nothing was a total loss, with the exception of some self-checkout kiosks that need to be replaced and desks that will either need to be repaired or replaced. Insurance is expected to cover the bulk of the damage, according to Library Director Schmidt.

Schmidt told the Gazette that inspectors are still investigating the light fixture that was the source of the fire, and are making sure a thorough cleanup of any soot and smoke is done throughout the facility, located at 450 5th Ave. SE.

The library staff is also going to use the time to thoroughly wipe down and clean all materials, including carpet, for patron safety while they wait for a definitive completion date for restoration and investigation to finish.

In the interim, 82 employees of the downtown library will be reassigned to Ladd Library in Southwest Cedar Rapids, mobile services, or the cooling center at Madge Phillips Center.

Partnering with Waypoint for a cooling center

Normally, the downtown library also serves as a popular "cooling center" for those seeking relief from dangerous heat in the summer months. As they haven't been able to open their facility in recent days, they have partnered with Waypoint for this purpose, where patrons are also allowed free computer access, just across the street at the Madge Phillips Center, 520 4th Avenue SE.

The closure of the downtown library includes the book drop but patrons can return items to Hiawatha and Marion Libraries or one of the book drops at metro-area Hy-Vee stores

Roasters Coffee House, located inside the library, is closed until the library itself reopens. Their NewBo City Market location is unaffected.

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