Oslo’s new main library had to close on Wednesday after a sofa caught fire Tuesday night and set off the landmark building’s sprinkler system. An estimated 1,000 liters of water poured out, raising fears about damage to the library’s books.
Staff at the Deichman Library were able, though, to send out a press release later in the day that they’d be able to reopen on Thursday. “The damage to books is much less than what we’d feared, and most of the library can be used as normal again,” a library spokesperson stated.
Quick response by firefighters and action taken to spread plastic sheets over vulnerable areas helped avert major losses. “Our count shows that 110 books need to be replaced but that number is joyfully low,” Merete Lie, a divisional director at the library, told state broadcaster NRK.
The library opened in June 2020 and has become a major attraction, located just across the street from the Opera House and close to the new MUNCH museum in the popular waterfront area known as Bjørvika. The cause of the fire is under police investigation. Police have questioned several witnesses and seized surveillance photos of the area where the sofa that mysteriously started burning was located.