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July 29, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Flagrant Breach of Smokefree Policy

Despite fire services being called just four minutes after a 5.7-magnitude quake, Friday’s Library fire was not thought to be related to the quake.

The fire was sparked by an 10–15-kg acetylene tank on the second floor of the Library. Acetylene is an odourless gas used by welders, which is highly explosive. A 200-m cordon was enacted by the Fire Service, meaning students could not access the Hub, Library or Quad for over three hours.

”[The tank] was on fire and they explode quite violently,” said senior station officer Steve Mackle, a firefighter who attended the blaze.

Associate Director of Campus Development Satish Dahya told Salient there was “minor damage” to an area of the Library currently under construction, but that this would not affect the completion date of the work.

“Repair work has been easily incorporated into the work programme,” said Dahya, adding the completed areas of the Library suffered no damage as a result of the fire.

“No fixtures or fittings were damaged in the completed areas and no books suffered any damage, which we are particularly pleased about,” said University Librarian Noelle Nelson.

The Fire Service is currently investigating the cause of the fire, and the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment had been advised.

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