If you're outside the D.C. area, you may not have heard about the fire at the Peabody Room, a division of the DC Public Library in Georgetown that houses a number of rare books, documents and artifacts. Last week they had a pretty major fire, a fire that was exacerbated by the non-working fire hydrant the fire department first tried to use to put out the blaze. Photos here, both before and after the tragedy, courtesy of H-Net online (thanks to Miss L. for forwarding it to me). Pretty damn scary how much damaged was done. For the original story, check out The Wasingtonian.
Thank goodness it looks like the employees had their act together in getting materials frozen and ready to be repaired. It's all a rather shocking reminder on the importance of good disaster plans, especially if you're building is housing rare materials.