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Fire closes El Sobrante library indefinitely

Contra Costa County library officials said the El Sobrante Library is closed until further notice because of fire damage and patrons are being asked to return books to other county libraries.

A possible arson Tuesday night damaged parts of the roof and exterior of the building at 4191 Appian Way.

County librarian Melinda Cervantes said in a statement:

“We are sad to have to close the library in El Sobrante and disrupt services to that community. It is important that we have time to evaluate all the equipment and materials and ensure the building is safe for staff and the public.”

Library officials said the book drop is also closed and holds will not be available for pickup at the El Sobrante library until the library reopens.

Patrons will be contacted about their current holds, which will be moved to a different location.

The fire was reported at 8:20 p.m. Tuesday after the library had closed and no one was inside.

Fire Capt. George Laing said fire got into a concealed area under the roof that was combustible.

But crews were able to stop the fire before it burned the attic, otherwise it would have been a disaster for the library, according to Laing.

Library officials said water damaged the staff area and smoke has damaged the entire interior, but the book collection did not sustain fire or water damage.

Library officials said it will take time to assess the extent of the damage and impact on library services.

Fire officials did not immediately have an estimate for the dollar amount of damage done by the fire.


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