A woman set books ablaze Saturday at the Tacoma Public Library’s downtown branch, closing the building for a couple of days, officials said.
A library patron had been at the Main Library at 1102 Tacoma Ave. S., left, then returned with a bottle of lighter fluid about 10:30 a.m., spokesman David Domkoski said.
She’s accused of heading to the back of the first floor, to the nonfiction shelves, and lighting four books on fire, damaging the tomes and some carpet.
“That generated a lot of smoke and fumes,” Domkoski said, which prompted staff to close the branch. “It came out of nowhere.”
A security guard quickly put out the fire with an extinguisher, and library staff evacuated the building.
No one was hurt.
Police found and arrested the woman nearby, Domkoski said.
The library will reopen at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Books can still be returned to the Main Library while it’s closed.
A Tacoma Reads event set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday will be rescheduled. The library had planned to show a movie called “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life & Times of Katrina Gilbert.”
“It’s a beautiful film,” Domkoski said.