Blow torch 'caused library fire'

An investigation into the cause of the blaze at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth has found it was caused by a blow torch.

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National Library fire was caused by a blow torch

The fire broke out in April

The fire that damaged part of the roof at the National Library of Wales was started by accident by workers using a blow torch.

An investigation into the cause of the fire has found the device used by workers on the roof caused some wood behind external cladding to ignite.

Two workers were carrying out repairs on the roof at the time, but nobody was injured in the blaze.

National Library fire damage 'limited' - minister

Before answering today's urgent question, the Culture Minister had previously issued a written statement about the National Library fire. John Griffiths said early indications gave cause for optimism.

Damage to the collections is restricted to items in the immediate vicinity of the incident and indications are that damage is limited and that the majority of items affected can be recovered. None of the more significant treasures held by the Library have been affected.

– John Griffiths AM, Culture Minister

He said it's too early to say how much financial support the National Library will need but said the Welsh Government was working closely with Library staff.

My officials have been in regular contact with the staff of the Library throughout the weekend and will continue to work closely with the Library over the coming weeks and months. I will be visiting the Library myself on Thursday of this week to see at first hand the damage, and to initiate the discussions on how the Welsh Government can support the Library. The Library is one of our most treasured national institutions and I would like to assure the Library of my ongoing support through this very difficult period.

– John Griffiths AM, Culture Minister


The National Library of Wales re-opens after fire

It took firefighters several hours to bring the blaze under control Credit: Viewer's picture / Tomos Nolan

The National Library of Wales will re-open to the public today after a section of the building was destroyed by fire on Friday.

A small part of the collection suffered water damage and is being examined by a specialist salvage company.

Up to 300 staff and 100 visitors were led to safety when the alarm was raised. It took 60 firefighters nearly four hours to bring it under control.

An investigation is currently underway to discover how the fire started.


National Library: 'Business as usual' following fire

The Director of Public Services for the National Library of Wales says work there is continuing as usual following Friday's fire.

The building will re-open to the public tomorrow.

The Library completed its immediate salvage operation of collections located in the fire affected areas [yesterday] and is in the process of relocating over 70 staff to other parts of the building.

We’re keen to stress that it’s business as usual at the Library, for readers, users and visitors. On Friday we took the precautionary measure of cancelling a few of this week’s planned events, but, apart from that, we’re confident that we can provide a full and normal service to all our users.

– Arwel Jones, Director of Public Services
  1. Owain Phillips

'Gloves off' at the Welsh Conservative Conference

David Cameron and David Jones fired several shots at the Welsh Government during the Conservative conference in Swansea.

The Prime Minster compared Carwyn Jones' administration to the "Muppet Show" in what many saw as a speech designed to galvanise the party's grassroot as the party look towards the 2015 general election.

Welsh Secretary David Jones went further, criticising Business Minister Edwina Hart's handling of Enterprise Zones as "Soviet style developments' and urging the Welsh Government to follow the UK Government's model.

He criticised planning policy and described plans to install sprinklers in new houses as "bizarre."

The Clwyd West MP said "people don't care where policy is developed...we have to cooperate if we are to succeed."

When the Tories took office "the respect agenda" was the watch phrase. No mention of that today as the party seemed to be stepping up its efforts for a Conservative Government in 2015.

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