Huntington Beach Central Library reopens following transformer box fire
Books may not require electricity, but a library does.
A fairly large substation transformer box caught fire at the Huntington Beach Central Library on April 14, Huntington Beach library and cultural services manager Jessica Framson said.
The city’s Public Works Department worked with electric companies to get things back online.
“There was a lot of testing equipment involved and then ordering parts,” Framson said. “Given the supply chain issues, it took longer than anticipated to get some repairs up and running.”
The library finally reopened on Monday afternoon, a little bit more than two weeks later.
“We’re really grateful to be back open,” Framson said. “Our patrons are why we’re here, so we’re just happy to be able to open our doors to them again. In the interim, our branch locations were able to step up and offer extended services ... but I know people really missed this building. The building is so important to the community, besides just the books, with the study rooms and the meeting rooms and the theater. Just being in this building is invaluable to our community, so we’re glad to be open again.”
Visitors to the Central Library will notice it is missing one key feature. During the power outage, the aquarium was removed.
Framson said Public Works actually recommended that the library remove the aquarium before the outage, due to a degraded and rusting structure and some leaking.
“The power outage just sped up the timeline,” she said. “We would have had to run a generator and refill it multiple times a day for however long we were closed, and that’s just not a tenable situation.”
An aquarium doctor was able to repair and drain the aquarium, remove the fish and re-home them, Framson said, and library staff removed the aquarium.