Downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library remains closed following fire

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

The downtown location of the Cedar Rapids Public Library is closed following a fire on Wednesday afternoon. The fire broke out in a light fixture and was extinguished quickly, according to a statement posted on the library’s site.

“The initial estimates of time it will take to reopen are still being gathered,” the library said in its statement. “… We will update with more information next week.”

In addition to the other services it provides, the library is the only public cooling center in the downtown area. Weather forecasts predict temperatures in the mid-80s for Cedar Rapids over the weekend, climbing into the 90s at the beginning of next week and reaching 103 degrees on Wednesday.

The library said it is “working with the City to identify and share information on alternative cooling center locations as the weather heats up.” On Friday afternoon, Little Village contacted the Linn County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), which maintains the list of cooling centers in the county, to check on what arrangements had been made.

EMA Coordinator B.J. Dvorak said city officials are still working on finding an alternative location, and it will be added to the EMA’s Heat Relief Locations list as soon as it is announced.

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

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

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

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

There were no injuries reported in Wednesday’s fire. According to the library, “Books and library materials do not appear to have been impacted by any water damage” from the automatic sprinklers that were activated by the fire.