Failed sprinkler closes down Wichita Falls Public Library

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A failed sprinkler closed the Wichita Falls Public Library for the second day in a row.

It flooded the childcare's area in the first floor of the library. Library staff said the sprinkler sprayed water out for 40 minutes yesterday morning.

Parents and children were left disappointed after not being able to enter the library. Heidi Slaydon and her children traveled almost an hour from Vernon to check out books.

"My children were kind of disappointed but things happen it would be okay," said Slaydon. "We'll come back, hopefully, by next week we hope."

The amount of damage caused by the sprinkler is still unknown.

Jack Murphy, Wichita Falls Director Parks and Recreation, said maybe a couple thousand books were affected by the failed sprinkler. Murphy said he never saw anything like that before.

"The fire department says it's quite rare for a sprinkler to come on without the heat started," said Murphy.

Librarians said they were fearful how many books would've been lost.

"The potential of losing most of our juvenile fiction collection. that never happened," said Murphy.

Susan Cooper, Wichita Falls Public Library Head of Children Services, said they used fans to dry the carpet.

"We need to get carpet dried out so we don't get bacteria, mildew growing over in the department," said Cooper.

Cooper said the fans might remain on until Saturday.

The library started inventory to determine what books can be salvaged and what books need to be replaced. Murphy said they should know what the total amount of the damages are by tomorrow.

The library's website said it should open by tomorrow too. 

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