On Things Lost, or the Williamsburg Storage Fire Revisted

Thinking about things lost, my mind goes back to the records warehouse fire a few months ago. The TL;DR version is that a fire broke out in a records storage facility, the fire department put it out, the fire started up again and the place was a block-sized fireball by the time the fire department returned. The warehouse was on a river, across from an oil refinery, supposedly had multiple fire prevention and supression devices, was literally on contested soil that was once valued at $100 million, held city- and state- records for public agencies (including court records), and housed records still within their mandated retention periods. Yeeeaaaah, there was a lot going on.

A lot was lost. And a lot of debris, ashes, and questions remain.

Brooklyn keeps on takin it #redesigntheskyline

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I am stuck on the loss of those active records and the people who are now screwed over because of it. I am stuck on the as-yet unannounced reason for the fire. Things like this aren’t supposed to happen — sprinklers, fire suppression systems, adequate security protocols are there for a reason — but in all honesty I’m not surprised. As we’ve seen with the fires at Iron Mountain facilities over the years, where there’s an accumulation of information (aka: evidence, data, fact), there’s a huge chance that someone wants to get rid of some of it.

The story has been out of the news, but I’m keen to know what happened and what’s going on because, even though I’m just a housewife right now, I’ve got the brain and eye of an information professional and this stuff is still kinda my thing.

2 thoughts on “On Things Lost, or the Williamsburg Storage Fire Revisted

  1. check out the Diversified Records Fire from the late 1990s. in that case two customers filed suit against the company. the plaintiffs won. They sued for the cost to recreate the records not the loss of records. All companies should have a separate insurance policy that will pay for recovery and restoration. The Williamsburg Fire will be a big case


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