Firefighters tackle library blaze

Firefighters tackle library blaze

Firefighters are still at the scene of a huge library fire in south London, after working through the night to put out the blaze.

Crews are continuing to damp down Newington Library this morning (26th March) after first being called to Wansey Road at 12.30pm on 25th March.

Around 30 people were evacuated from the building, which also houses the Cuming Museum and a Southwark Council One Stop Shop, when flames were spotted coming through the roof.

More than 100 firefighters and 20 engines closed off roads around the building to tackle the flames, working for hours to stop the fire spreading.

A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade told The Bookseller this morning: “Crews are still on site damping down any remaining hotspots. It will be a while before we are able to assess the cause, as there is a lot of debris to work through. There is quite significant damage to the building. 75% of the ground floor, first floor and second floor have been damaged, along with 90% of the roof.”

The leader of Southwark Council, Cllr Peter John, said: "A fire has broken out in one of our buildings on the Walworth Rd which houses the Cuming Museum, the home of the worldwide collection of the Cuming Family and the museum of Southwark's history. The building also houses a library and a one stop shop for residents to access different council services. Everyone has been evacuated and there are no reported injuries at this time. Our thoughts are with everyone affected and we will offer what practical assistance we can."

He added: “It is too early to say what the cause of the fire is and how long services from that building will be suspended for. As nearby properties have been evacuated, we will ensure that everyone is looked after until they can return home.

"We will continue to monitor the situation very closely and continue to assist the emergency services where we can. Whilst our first concern is for the safety of residents and our staff, we are also worried about possible damage to the museum's collection."






[Stock photo of Newington Library c. Secret London]