In the Stacks: Fire at the Library February 3, 2020 – Posted in: Content, In the Stacks, Libraries, public libraries – Tags:

Street lined with fire engines during Los Angeles Central Library fire

It was the largest library fire in the history of the United States. 400,000 books were destroyed and over 700,000 were damaged by water or smoke. It took firefighters over seven hours to put out the fire with little flare ups continuing for several days. 

The epic blaze was the basis of Susan Orlean’s 2018 bestselling and New York Times Notable Book of the year, The Library Book

Here are some images of the fire gleaned from the digital collections of the UCLA library.  They are all from the the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive. Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library. 


Fireman inspecting fire damage on west façade of Los Angeles Central Library


Aerial view of fire


Arson investigators in art and music reading room


Deputy Fire Chief Don Anthony amongst stacks destroyed by fire


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