Sometimes, if records are kept in paper form, they are left vulnerable to the elements. Individuals in Castile, New York, recently discovered this after a fire broke out in a historic building.
According to WIVB-TV, the fire began in the early hours of October 2, completely destroying the building, which acted as a government storage area, residence and restaurant. Twenty-four fire companies were called in to put out the fire, and a hydrant problem allowed the blaze to continue.
Once the fire was out, rescuers found that a woman who lived in the building, Lorraine Qutermous, was missing. According to WGRZ-TV, a body believed to be hers was found October 3. Moreover, though some government documents were taken out of the burning building, others did not make it out. Town officials still aren't sure which records were destroyed, though WIVB indicated that the structure held files dating back to 1882.
The records' loss would not be so severe had the local government invested in electronic document management. Even if the computers on which the files were loaded were destroyed, the information on the records would have remained accessible on other internet enabled devices.
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