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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Brazil Museum Fire Hits Home For Bruce County Curator

Bruce County | by John Divinski  

Kathy McGirr assures Bruce County Museum has emergency plans in place

Shock continues to permeate the museums of the world over the horrific fire that destroyed the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janiero.

Countless artifacts were destroyed, never to be replaced.

The Director/Curator of the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre in Southampton, Cathy McGirr, became emotional in her reaction to the event on September 2nd.

With tears in her eyes, McGirr says it's something you never want to see happen to your own museum or any other facility and she feels for her colleagues in Brazil.

During a break in a Bruce County Council meeting September 6th, McGirr says they do as much as they can to prevent any type of fire at the Southampton facility.

She says the museum has an emergency preparedness plan in place but they can't guarantee that nothing will go wrong.

McGirr says many preventative measures are taken including daily inspections and walk-throughs, a fire suppression system and HVAC controls just to name a few.

She says every effort is made to make sure the building, the artifacts and the people are safe.

McGirr says they have separate buildings for collection storage, archive storage and the research room is separate as well.

The actual gallery is also divided by doors but if a fire did break out, how much damage it does would depend on how quickly it's discovered and how quickly staff react or first responders could get to the scene.

However, McGirr says, although she can't guarantee a museum free from fire, she says every precaution is taken to assure the safety within the facility.


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