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Wilmer library burns

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SHERRY LONG
The Ellis County Press
WILMER - The public library in Wilmer was closed indefinitely after a fire broke out in the southeastern portion of the attic about 1 p.m. Monday afternoon.

After returning from lunch with co-workers Wilmer Assistant Utility Superintendent Bud Taylor smelled and saw smoke coming from the library's attic.

As a volunteer firefighter Taylor called for help on his radio while running to get his bunker gear from his truck.

'We had to kick the vent screens into the attic to get to the fire,' Taylor said.

He said within 10 minutes the blaze was under control as Ferris and Hutchins fire departments responded to help extinguish the fire.

However, the damage had been done.

Five computers, purchased with grant money, along the southern wall and the entire biography section was severely damaged by water and smoke damage as firefighters worked to control the blaze.

Wilmer City Secretary Crystol Birdwell said officials believed an electrical malfunction started the fire, however an exact cause won't be known until fire marshals finish the investigation.

It was unknown if the city's insurance provider would pay for repair costs.

Dallas County Assistant Fire Marshall Robert De Los Santos said the fire most likely started as a result of an accident when the roof was being fixed.

A roofer was on top of the building making repairs to damage caused from straight-line winds, which ripped through southern Dallas County communities in early September.

Although the fire did spread to the library, most of the damage resulted from water being poured on the 51-year old structure as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze, De Los Santos said.

Librarian Linda McCrory said she didn't know when the library would reopen, but knew the impact would hit the community hard.

'The biggest part of the kids' lives was getting up here to do homework and using the computers,' McCrory said.

'I don't know what we will do till we get it back up and running.'

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