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Fire engulfs 107-year-old London museum

Dozens of firefighters were called in to battle a large blaze at a library and museum in London. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.

A fast-moving fire has damaged a 107-year-old museum and library in London, threatening an eclectic trove of artifacts, including relics of the city’s Roman period, local media reported.

Hundreds of firefighters fought a massive blaze at the Cuming Museum and Newington Library in Walworth, southeast of the city’s central area.


The fire, which broke out shortly after noon, was under control by early evening, the Guardian reported.

At one point, the roof was reportedly engulfed in flames with thick black smoke billowing out.

The museum was founded  in 1906 using the Cuming family’s private collection. It is home to historical artifacts from not only Roman London, but China and Africa.

It was not clear how much of the museum’s collection was damaged. Peter Critchell, a fire brigade spokesman, said firefighters would try to salvage as many objects as possible.

Though some 30 people were evacuated during the spectacular blaze, none was reported injured.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, the BBC reported.