Auburn library opens temporary location after fire

AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) The Eckhart Public Library has opened a temporary location, more than three months after fire badly damaged its historic building.

Children search for books inside the temporary home of the Eckhart Public Library, in the Auburn Plaza in Auburn, Ind.

The library opened its temporary location inside the Auburn Plaza on Tuesday, near Kroger. The makeshift branch features stacks and racks of books as normal, along with computers and other services that were offered at the main library.

That library, at 603 S. Jackson St. in central Auburn, was set ablaze around 2:30 a.m. July 2. Crews arrived to find heavy smoke rising from the building, and fire was found on the first floor of the library.

The flames were quickly extinguished, but the library sustained heavy damage to its first floor and smoke and heat damage to its basement and first floor.

Days later, police arrested 24-year-old Nykolas E. Elkin on felony charges of Possession of a Destructive Device or Explosive with Intent and Arson related to the fire. Authorities believe Elkin dropped a lit firework in the book return drop chute at the library’s main entrance.

Elkin pleaded guilty to the Arson charge in a DeKalb County courtroom on Sept. 18. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 19.

Estimates suggested the damaged to the main library would keep it closed for more than a year.

Library officials told NewsChannel 15 on Tuesday that the library should be in the temporary location for about a year. During repairs at the library, the Willennar Genealogy Center and the Teen Library remain open.