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Disastrous Fire at Central Library

May 11, 1986

The people of Los Angeles owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the firefighters who successfully contained the potentially catastrophic fire in the Central Library. Our Fire Department, under the leadership of Chief Don Manning and Deputy Chief Don Anthony, has performed heroic service for our city.

That the fire was contained and damage to the building and its collections limited was due to the personal sacrifice and strategic tactics employed by the firefighters. Watching flames and smoke pour from this cherished landmark building, threatening all its valuable contents, was a shattering experience. To have emerged from disaster with so much of the building and books intact was miraculous, and a magnificent achievement for the Fire Department.

Plans for renovating and expanding the Central Library are the centerpiece of the ambitious and urban Library Square project, an effort that involved many participants from the public and private sectors. Thanks to Los Angeles' firefighters, it looks as if that plan can proceed. All those in the city who care so deeply for the cultural and intellectual life of this city have our Fire Department to thank for their invaluable work.

RUTHANN LEHRER

Executive Director

Los Angeles Conservancy

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