No “Fahrenheit 451” Here; Just A Fire Alarm At Falmouth Library

Library fire alarm
Written by Brian Tarcy

FALMOUTH – It was not a dystopian novel, just a fire alarm at the Falmouth Library.

The books are safe, and the firemen in this story are the good guys, unlike the fire starters in Ray Bradbury’s classic novel about book burning, “Fahrenheit 451,” which we heard referred to while standing outside waiting for the alarm to stop.

Library fire alarm

Ready for anything to save Falmouth’s books. CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO

About 11:30 Monday morning, the fire alarm at the library went off. Librarians, while saying, “This isn’t a drill,” ushered people out of the library, where the crowd then watched for a half an hour as several fire trucks showed up to make sure that the library and its contents were safe.

Although there are fire drills at the library, Linda Collins, library director, later said, “we don’t have many false alarms.” She said it was most likely related to the most recent power outage. During the recent storm, the library lost power for 3-1/2 days, she said.

With the town’s popular bookstore, Eight Cousins, already closed and damaged by a flood, the response to the alarm was comforting to book lovers who witnessed it. “One of the fireman said that when they heard it was the library, they hurried over,” said Collins.

Fully geared up and some even carrying axes, firefighters entered the building quickly but it took almost a half hour for the alarm to stop.

Messages left with the Falmouth Fire Department, about this minor incident, were not returned.

Cape Cod Wave happened to be in the library at the time of the alarm, when we ran into a friend who said she had been looking to get a novel. After waiting outside a bit during the alarm, she left and we found ourselves standing near, we found out later, the librarians.

One of the librarians made a reference to “Fahrenheit 451.” We missed the specifics, but, upon reflection, we realized that librarians are just quicker and smarter than the rest of us who rely on Google.

Seeing fire trucks at the library made “Fahrenheit 451,” of course, an interesting plot to contemplate in 2018 America, while it was clear these local firefighters had only one plot in mind, making sure the library was safe.

We did hear another reference, even more local to the Falmouth Library from a library volunteer outside the library we met, Linda Taylor. She speculated that the group of turkeys who hang out near the library and have gained some notoriety through the years, may have been responsible.

But Collins said, “The turkeys are in the clear on this.”

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You Can't Sell Right Field

– A Novel By Brian Tarcy of Cape Cod Wave

“This is a terrific read. Brian Tarcy’s style and sense of humor make it easy reading, while his subject matter is of more importance than most communities realize. If you care about growth in your community and the lack of thoughtful planning, you owe it to yourself to read this thoughtful piece of fiction that is all too real in smaller communities in our country.”

About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is the author of "YOU CAN'T SELL RIGHT FIELD; A Cape Cod Novel." He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen mostly non-fiction books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His previous book was, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face.
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Brian is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan with a long-running NFL predictions/political satire column connecting weekly world events to the fate of his favorite team, now at

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