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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 August, 2004, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Call for library protection boost
Library fire
All the contents of the library were destroyed in the fire in Ramsgate
Important books and documents should be better protected in the wake of a fire which destroyed a Kent library, according to councillors.

Ramsgate Library burnt down in a fire late on Friday night, with the loss of thousands of books, several paintings and historic artefacts.

The leader of the opposition Labour group on Kent County Council said it showed archive storage was inadequate.

The fire in Ramsgate is being treated as arson by Kent Police.

We have to make sure that what happened in Ramsgate does not happen elsewhere
Councillor Mike Eddy

More than 100 firefighters fought the blaze as 16 fire engines were called to the library in Guildford Lawn, Ramsgate, just after 2130 BST on Friday.

Local residents began selling photographs of the burning library within hours in an attempt to raise money to help fund the rebuilding of the Victorian library.

Mike Eddy, Labour leader on the county council said the loss of books, historical documents and archaeological materials highlighted the threat to Kent's heritage.

He said: "Our archives storage is not adequate, our library book stocks are still under-funded and our archaeological storage is almost non-existent.

"I am grateful to all the staff and local people who have rallied round to save what can be saved and to start the rebuilding of Ramsgate's library.

"We have to make sure that what happened in Ramsgate does not happen elsewhere in the county and to make sure that Ramsgate now gets a state-of-the-art library and museum."




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