• Archivists rushing to salvage historic artifacts after fire at Aberdeen Armory

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff


    TUMWATER, Wash. - Washington State archivists are trying to save a city’s history after a large fire last weekend at the nearly century-old armory building that housed the Aberdeen Museum of History.

    >> See photos from the Aberdeen Armory fire

    The painstaking work to sort and save thousands of photos, documents, film and historic artifacts before mold sets in started Wednesday at the Records Center Annex in Tumwater. The job is expected to take several days.

    Saturday's fire destroyed exhibits on the museum's main and second floors, including a Kurt Cobain exhibit.

    After the fire was put out and the scope of the damage was determined, Washington State Archives experts headed to Aberdeen to recover boxes of historic records from the museum's basement, which was flooded with four feet of water.  

    Because the irreplaceable records are at high risk of mold damage, they have been taken to safe storage where they will be assessed and preserved by archivists and volunteers from other divisions of the Secretary of State’s Office.

    "There's a few things completely untouched, some things that were damp, and some that are totally soaked," State Archivist Steve Excell told The Daily World.

    Investigators are still trying to determine what started the fire.

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