KTTV 70: Remembering the 1986 L.A. Central Library fire

Flames were ferocious as they chewed away on the L.A. Central Library building in 1986.

Film from our KTTV archives shows all the destruction -- and, it was bad. The blaze destroyed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more.

Susan Orlean has written a best-seller about the fire called The Library Book.

"Because the library was in very bad shape, they had false alarms all the time. Initially, they (firefighters) thought it was a false alarm then, they saw some smoke and within a few seconds of them finding this smoke it erupted into an inferno!" said Orlean.

The fire reached temperatures of 2,500-degrees and burned for 7 1/2 hours.

In this look-back, hear about the search for whoever started it. And, see how the damaged books were saved. The "Library Fire"-- another of our 70 stories commemorating KTTV's 70 years in broadcasting.