Arson in the Neighborhood
Why did someone try to burn down the beautiful Julia Davis library in St. Louis, MO? Why would someone try to take away the opportunity for urban children, teens and adults to read, research and participate in various library activities? This is a beautiful, very active place for folks to go to sit and learn. Was that the problem that this arsonist didn’t want this community to have something nice? Why did they burn down the African American fiction section? This is an area where all the authors new and old, mainstream or self published was housed. This is terrible.
Why! It was the second fire set at the Julia Davis branch in two weeks. On June 23, a small gasoline fire was set in a trash bin behind the library, Simpson (fire department captain) said. McGuire described the June incident as involving someone throwing a bottle filled with gasoline at the rear of the building, near the staff entrance.McGuire is urging anyone with information to contact police. The library already has turned over to police its surveillance footage.
The fire Thursday started in the area dedicated to the Julia Davis African-American Studies Center, a collection of African-American history. Flames were at least 15 feet away from any books, executive director of the library McGuire said. Sprinklers caused water damage to books in an adjacent section of African-American fiction, McGuire said. Library workers are trying to salvage the books. The branch, one of the city's busiest, will be closed for several days for repairs and cleaning. Good things they said they can easily replace the African American fiction books. They are happy it was not the historical books which would have been irreplaceable.