CHANDLER, Ariz. — Nearly six months after the devastating explosion at the Platinum Printing Company in West Chandler that caused widespread damage to nearby businesses, the Sunset Library is set to re-open on Monday.
“It’s heartwarming how many people have appreciated the library and have been concerned about the staff," said library administrator Sue Van Horne.
A faulty pipe caused the printing company to explode on Aug. 26, 2021. Van Horne remembers speaking to a colleague when she heard the boom.
“It felt like something had landed on the roof of the building," said Van Horne. "Like an engine off of a jet airliner or a jet or something really large.”
The shopping center looked like a warzone
Four men were severely burned including the printing company's owners Andrew and Dillon Ryan.
“My heart just dropped because I didn’t know what happened to the kids. I didn’t know where they were,” said Andrew and Dillon's father.
The Ryan's employee and long-time friend Parker Milderbrandt was also injured.
“He said there was a boom. He got knocked off his chair and the roof blew up,” said Milderbrandt's parents.
And a fourth man, Glenn Jordan who worked at the business next to Platinum Printing, was also burned.
Inside Sunset Library
“There was about 40 people inside the building when it happened," said Van Horne. “The library was not safe anymore, so we were getting people out of the building, making sure people were safe. Getting them across the parking lot.”
The Sunset staff have worked for nearly six months to re-open the library which experienced damage to the walls, roof, and a ruptured water line that destroyed an entire range of books.
The explosion has stayed with some of the library staff.
“You know you’re sitting at home and there’s a loud noise," said Van Horne.
"You realize that for a while you’re going to be a little jumpy and you hear about another explosion someplace else, and you can completely relate to what those people are going through.”
Sunset will re-open on Valentine's Day and Van Horne says the staff is ready to start and new chapter and welcome their readers back.
"For them to be able to come back to their home library and feel at home again is tremendous. So, we’re ready,” said Van Horne.
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