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When originally built in 1956, records had been expected to be kept in filing cabinets. Record capacity and access increasingly became problematic and most, although not all, records had been moved to boxes and shelving by 1973. Those records stored in cabinets posed a special hazard in recovery after the fire. As Peter Waters described, fires within cabinets were still being put out for over three weeks. Each time a drawer was opened, exposure to oxygen caused immediate combustion.

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