Georgetown Library Fire Aftermath
The news out of the Georgetown library fire is that the damage is not quite as awful as was first feared. A fair portion of the historical documents have been shipped off for freezing and preservation.
Here, via Jerry McCoy, one of the great resources this region has for preserving and promoting the record of our past, are some photos showing the Peabody Room before and after the fire.
And here's the branch librarian's take on the fire.
And just in case anyone is thinking of suing the District for failing to maintain its fire hydrants properly, here's a West Coast firefighter's report on how his department used to prevent the sort of disaster we saw here last week, when D.C. firefighters discovered that the two hydrants closest to the Georgetown library were not functioning:
We used to test each hydrant annually. The testing was done by the on duty crews. The city and county were divided up by map page and it took several months to complete.
We would remove each of the hydrant caps, wire brush the threads, open up the hydrant to ensure that it worked, graphite the threading and then put the caps back on. This took approximately ten minutes per hydrant.
Today there is no annual hydrant testing done by the fire department. It was decided by the city that since the water department is out every day working on the water lines they were the appropriate city department to handle hydrants. We do go out and put blue markers in the street to help locate hydrants at night. In addition we clear any vegetation 3' around the hydrant.
When a hydrant is damaged or removed the water department lets us know and we update our map pages and "bag" the hydrants with garbage bags and duct tape.
Sound like DC needs to get a better system to monitor their water system!
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