Workers on roof started National Library fire

Damage to the offices after the fire on the 26th

Damage to the offices after the fire on the 26th

THE FIRE at the National Library on the 26th April was started by a worker using a blowtorch on the roof, a report has revealed.

The report, published by Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service described the events before the fire broke out: “Shortly after 14.30 one worker was using the blow torch to warm the roof covering on the edge of the Third Library Building Offices roof.  The blow torch caused the ignition of the wood behind the external cladding.”

“The two workers attempted to extinguish the fire however they were unable to access behind the external cladding from the roof edge and the application of water had no effect on the development of the fire.”

The building which was affected by the fire, known as the Third Library Building Offices, was undergoing significant repair following damage sustained during high winds in January 2012.

The two workers on the roof had reportedly been stripping the covering using a scalping machine, however the covering around the edges of the roof was to be removed using a propane blow torch and hand tools.

Once the fire began, Library staff attempted to extinguish it but were unable to access the timber behind the external cladding. They notified Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service at 14:38 after raising the fire alarm.

The scene was attended by a total of 11 crews (from Aberystwyth, Lampeter, Machynlleth, Tregaron, Llandysul and an incident command unit from Carmarthen  along with a number of ambulances and police units), including an Aerial Ladder Platform, Incident Command Unit and a High Volume Pumping appliance.