15 February 2014

Fire and Archives

Early Saturday afternoon, London time, "Fire breaks out at National Archives in Kew, London" was the BBC headline, followed by "Four pumps and 20 fire fighters are tackling the blaze in Kew, Richmond."
Audrey Collins calmed fears with the tweet "Fire @UkNatArchives is out, humans and documents unharmed, building closed for the rest of the day"
It's a reminder that no matter how thorough efforts are to protect our documentary heritage it remains vulnerable. Motivation for more digitization with distributed multiple copies please.

The National Archives can confirm that the fire which affected the two disused water towers external to the main building is now out. The London Fire Brigade were called out at approximately 12:30 GMT and quickly controlled and extinguished the fire. No-one was hurt or injured and there is no damage to the main building or any documents.

Clem Brohier, Acting Chief Executive and Keeper, said:

'The most important thing is that no one was hurt and no documents were damaged in this incident. I have seen for myself today how quickly the London Fire Brigade got here and how staff from The National Archives swiftly put our incident plan into action and the public responded calmly and helpfully.'

The National Archives is now closed for the weekend and will reopen to the public on Tuesday 18 February, as usual.


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