Museum Fire Sunday July 20, 2008
The following is a message from Chip Phillips SAFBVA President
Hi everyone. I sent this following message to the Board of Directors yesterday evening so when the questions started coming they could answer them. We were very lucky.
Before anyone panics, the museum is okay. We did not have any damage. Nor did the Navy to the main museum. The museum was closed today and the state started to clean things up. The museum will be open on Wednesday.
I received a phone call from Krystal around 11:30 last night informing me that our Library was on fire. She also called Tom Kirk. The first thing this morning, about 6:30, I called Tom. The fire was in the Navy archive section and was contained to the old lunchroom and part of the storage area just out side the old lunchroom. The reason Krystal thought the library was on fire was that it was full of smoke.
Naturally during the trip down my mind was thinking of all the possibilities and I was prepared for the worst. So when I got there and saw how little the damage was, I was very surprised and very happy The fireman cut off the electricity to the Navy museum and this morning the state electrician came to make sure there was no damage to any of their wiring. He also went up to check the fire wall between the rest rooms and the library. He discovered the reason for the smoke in the library. When they installed the fire alarm system, they cut a two-inch hole in the wall. The smoke came in through that hole.
If the Navy had not had a false ceiling there is a very good possibility that the old ceiling timbers would have caught and the fire really could have spread.
The Ovid, Romulus and Varick fire departments responded and I believe they did an outstanding job and the fire alarm system works. Their fire inspectors conducted an initial investigation and we are now waiting for the state inspector to do his thing, so no official reason for the fire has been released.