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Shopping-cart fire shuts down Burnaby's Metrotown library

The Burnaby Public Library's Bob Prittie Metrotown branch will be closed 'at least a couple of days and possibly longer' after an early morning fire Wednesday, the city's head librarian says.
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A shopping cart that caught fire outside the Metrotown library early Wednesday morning broke a window and set off the building's sprinkler system.

The Metrotown library will be closed for at least a few more days after a shopping-cart fire outside the building set off the sprinkler system inside early Wednesday morning.

Fire crews were called to the library at 6100 Willingdon Ave. at 4:34 a.m. for reports of a building fire, according to assistant fire Chief Darcy Robinson.

On arrival, they found smoke coming from the southeast corner of the building.

It turned out the contents of a shopping cart parked near a library window had gone up in flames, according to Robinson.

“The heat of the cart was too much for the glass and the glass broke,” he said.

The fire didn’t spread into the library, but it did set off the sprinkler system inside.

Chief librarian Beth Davies said the water rained down on the library’s children’s collection, but things could have been worse.

“It looks like only one sprinkler actually got set off, so it’s not like the sprinkler system damaged things across the library,” she said.

Water also spread along the ground, affecting about half of the first floor, and some smoke got inside, according to Davies.

Restoration crews are on scene, and the city is working to get the library open as fast as possible.

Davies said the Metrotown branch will be closed for “at least a couple of days and possibly longer.”

In the meantime, staff are being redeployed to other branches in anticipation they might get busier because of the Metrotown closure.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
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