Cedar Rapids downtown public library remains closed after fire

Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 5th Ave SE — Zak Neumann/Little Village

The downtown location of the Cedar Rapids Public Library is closed following a fire Wednesday afternoon. The fire started in a light fixture and was quickly extinguished, according to A declaration published on the library website.

“Early estimates of how long it will take to reopen are still being collected,” the library said in its statement. “…We’ll update with more information next week.”

In addition to the other services it offers, the library is the only public cooling center downtown. The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-80s for Cedar Rapids over the weekend, climbing into the 90s early next week and hitting 103 degrees on Wednesday.

The library said it is “working with the city to identify and share information on alternate locations for cooling centers as the weather warms.” Friday afternoon, Small village contacted the Linn County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), which maintains the list of cooling centers in the county, to verify what arrangements had been made.

EMA coordinator BJ Dvorak said city officials are still working on finding another location, and that it will be added to the EMA. Heat relief locations list as soon as it is announced.

There are three public cooling centers in addition to the downtown Cedar Rapids library.

• Ladd Library, 3750 Williams Blvd SW: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

• Lindale Mall, 4444 1st Ave NE: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

• The Salvation Army, 1000 C Ave NW: Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday’s fire caused no injuries. According to the library, “books and library equipment do not appear to have been affected by water damage” from automatic sprinklers that were activated by the fire.

David H. Henry