Fire damages Northampton public library

Fire caused up to $150,000 in damage, exceeding the original $5,000 estimate

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline
Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — Officials say a fire set inside Northampton’s public library caused up to $150,000 in damage, far exceeding the original $5,000 estimate.

Forbes Library Director Janet Moulding says replacing a 120-year-old carved bannister damaged in Monday’s fire will cost $10,000 alone.

She tells The Daily Hampshire Gazette much of the cost is driven by the fact that thousands of books, DVDs and CDs, and their cases, need to be taken apart, cleaned and put back together after being coated with chemicals from fire extinguishers.

The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum on the library’s second floor was not damaged.

The fire set in an interior staircase was put out by a staff member and a patron with fire extinguishers.

The suspect, a 54-year-old man, is undergoing a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.

Copyright 2014, The Associated Press

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