Second Major Fire Guts Georgetown Public Library

The second floor of the Georgetown Public Library is a complete loss, and with it goes much of the archive of the Library, some of which predates the founding of our nation. According to, several of the area fire hydrants were not in working order, due to an issue with water pressure. According to WTOP, this is a frequent problem in Georgetown and other elevated areas of town.

Wait. Hold on a second. You’re telling me that these fire hydrants are purely decorative? That’s got to be cold comfort to all of Georgetown all of a sudden as they realize the fire hydrant that’s just up the street may be as useful as your neighbor’s garden hose when it comes to putting out a serious fire. Seriously, how does a city like DC not be able to push the pressure it needs to fire hydrants. That seems like a basic service…

3 Comments so far

  1. Brian (unregistered) on May 1st, 2007 @ 9:51 am

    The news about the hydrants is just as disturbing as the library being unable to find some sort of fire suppression system. I understand a water-based one wasn’t optimal but if you have no protection at all then your valuable items go into a vault and are brought out for special display every now and again. I just hope these two fires were isolated incidents and we don’t have something bigger on our hands.

  2. Will (unregistered) on May 1st, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

    “this is a frequent problem in Georgetown and other elevated areas of town.”


    “She added that “state-of-the-art” buildings have systems that hard-wire them to the fire department for immediate notification. “We did not have such a system.”

    I wonder what the insurance side of all this is.

  3. Don (unregistered) on May 1st, 2007 @ 2:20 pm

    Most government institutions are self-insured, I believe.

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