WATERVILLE — A broken water pipe Saturday morning caused significant damage to books, computers and furniture at Waterville Public Library.

Capt. Shawn Esler, of the Waterville Fire Department, said the call reporting flooding at the library at 73 Elm St. came in directly to the fire station around 9:20 a.m. Saturday. The library was supposed to open at 10 a.m. It did not open Saturday.

Esler said a three-quarter-inch copper water pipe burst and left 2 inches of water on the floor and damaged the ceilings in at least two rooms on the ground floor.

“There was a significant amount of damage,” Esler said. “The biggest expense is electronic devices such as computers and photocopiers; ceiling tiles, wall coverings.”

He said he could not put a dollar estimate on the damage and didn’t know how long the water had been leaking into the rooms before it was discovered.

“I know that it did freeze, because there was a substantial amount of ice in the ceiling,” Esler said.

Esler said about a dozen firefighters went to the library and used water vacuums and specialized pumps to get the water out of the two rooms. They also cleaned furniture and emptied water from electronic devices.

“We had to move a lot of books, a lot of furniture. Some literature has been destroyed. We spent all morning basically cleaning up with water vacs, moving stuff around and restoring order,” he said. “Our guys went over there; they did a great job. We have the equipment to do this.

Library officials hope to reopen Monday.


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