Fire at Forbes Library Causes Shutdown of Entire Second Floor

A fire at the Forbes Library in Northampton, Massachusetts caused more damage than expected, resulting in the entire second floor being shut down for several weeks.

Library Director Janet Moulding says the fire took place in the main stairwell, destroying part of the 120-year-old wooden bannister. To replace that alone, she says, early estimates range from five to  ten thousand dollars.

“The major expense will be the clean-up,” Moulding says. “The entire second floor, which is roughly 10,000 square feet, is all covered with dust from  the fire extinguishers and smoke and soot.”

The second floor contains many books, DVD’s, music CD’s, computers, oriental rugs, valuable art work and the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum.

Northampton Police say they believe the fire was set intentionally and they have a suspect in custody.