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Faulty plumbing could have resulted in the loss of hundreds of children's books this week in the Wilson Free Library, but quick action by the Wilson Fire Department minimized damage to the books.

A toilet overflowed early Wednesday in a private apartment directly above the library's children's room, and water began leaking through light fixtures, causing severe damage.

The leaks also shorted out the smoke detectors, which alerted the Fire Department. When volunteer firefighters spotted the water, they immediately began putting up plastic tarps to save the hundreds of books. Only nine were lost.

"The Fire Department was critical to this not being a hundred times worse," said Marge Clark, Wilson librarian. "They immediately tarped the books and kept our losses to a minimum."

Clark said the children's room will remain closed until after Memorial Day because of the damage, but staff can enter to obtain books for patrons.

Some picture books sit in bins in the library's hallway, and youth tables have been moved into the reference section in this small town library.

Damage to the ceiling and carpeting was more extensive.

Drywall will be replaced in some areas, and some of the plaster will be replaced in the ceiling.

The library will be closed Friday through Monday for repairs.

Clark said the damage is covered by insurance and she hopes everything is back in order after the Memorial Day weekend.


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