After 5 days, the 1973 fire in St. Louis was declared out. But records stored in filing cabinets posed a special hazard—-fires in cabinets were still being put out for over three weeks. Each time a drawer was opened, exposure to oxygen caused immediate combustion.
When the center had been built in 1956, records had been expected to be kept in filing cabinets. Record capacity became problematic, and most records had been moved to boxes and shelving by 1973.
However, despite the massive damage caused by the fire and the water used to put it out, millions of veterans’ records were salvageable.
The race to save these documents from mold and water damage was on.
Read the full post on Pieces of History.
Image: National Archives, Record Group 64.

After 5 days, the 1973 fire in St. Louis was declared out. But records stored in filing cabinets posed a special hazard—-fires in cabinets were still being put out for over three weeks. Each time a drawer was opened, exposure to oxygen caused immediate combustion.

When the center had been built in 1956, records had been expected to be kept in filing cabinets. Record capacity became problematic, and most records had been moved to boxes and shelving by 1973.

However, despite the massive damage caused by the fire and the water used to put it out, millions of veterans’ records were salvageable.

The race to save these documents from mold and water damage was on.

Read the full post on Pieces of History.


Image: National Archives, Record Group 64.