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.