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5 Phoenix Fire employees join list of personnel disciplined for library flood

(City of Phoenix Photo)

PHOENIX — Nearly a half-dozen more Phoenix city workers have been punished for ignoring warnings that may have prevented millions of dollars of water damage to Burton Barr Library.

Five fire department employees were the latest to be fired, demoted or reprimanded for inaction that led to $10 million of wreckage, KJZZ reported Wednesday.

A corroded pipe to the sprinkler system burst in July during a monsoon storm, flooding the building. An investigation revealed that several city staffers knew there was a problem with the sprinklers before 2015 but they did not tell higher-ups.

An inspector’s report shared much concern over the state of the fire-suppression system.

City manager Ed Zuercher said a fire department clerk failed to properly process inspection reports and was dismissed.

In addition to the firing, a fire marshal was demoted and an assistant chief, deputy chief and captain were each demoted.

Six city workers had already been held accountable for their parts in the lapses of judgment that led to the loss of thousands of books.

The broken pipe dumped 50 to 60 gallons of water per minute onto the fifth floor of the northwest corner building.

The library was expected to reopen in June.

In the meantime, a temporary site has been set up at Park Central Mall near Central Avenue and Osborn Road.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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