Blaze devastates unique Russian library

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Millions of rare books and scientific texts were saved from a fire that broke out at the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences Library in Moscow on Friday evening. All three floors of the library were damaged by a blaze that consumed an estimated 2,000 square meters (21,528 square feet). No casualties were reported due to the fire, but some 15 percent of the unique collection is believed to be destroyed.

A total of 38 firefighting brigades comprising of 147 firefighters were deployed, and the fire was eventually extinguished at 11:24 p.m. local time on Saturday. Founded in 1918, the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences is the largest center for research in the social sciences and humanities in Russia. The library has a collection of 14.7 million books, some dating back to the 16th century.