Legislative Hall reopens to the public

DOVER — One month after a fire caused about $1.5 million worth of damage to Legislative Hall, the capitol reopened Friday.

The building had already opened to legislative staffers several weeks ago, but it remained closed to the public.

Legislative Hall was damaged by fire in early October, causing the building to be evacuated and damaging several offices in the east wing, where the flames were located. The fire started when an exhaust pipe running from a basement generator to the attic ignited flammable materials in the attic. About a dozen fire trucks responded, and firefighters spent several hours locating and putting out the fire.

Eleven historic paintings were removed to undergo special restoration work, needed as a result of smoke and water damage.

The state commissioned the cleanup company Servpro to remove the water and smell of smoke from the building.

Repairs included replacing wires, damaged offices and attic duct work.

Repairs are expected to be completed by the time the legislative session resumes on Jan. 12.

Staff writer Matt Bittle can be reached at 741-8250 or mbittle@newszap.com. Follow @MatthewCBittle on Twitter.

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