THE financial cost from the fire at Warrnambool’s Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village last week is still being assessed.
The Warrnambool Examiner newspaper print shop was destroyed and the adjoining fire station was damaged in the blaze which took hold about 1.15am Thursday morning.
Flagstaff Hill manager Peter Abbott said an insurance company had made an initial assessment but the damage to the printing presses would be looked at further.
Mr Abbott said recent days had been spent in the print shop looking at what could be saved.
“There’s not much. It’s pretty heavily damaged,” he said.
“We might be able to recover the printing press given it’s cast iron.
“From a financial side we don’t know the cost from the building damage and the collection inside.”
The cause of the fire was significant damage to electrical wiring in the print shop which was believed to have happened prior to the fire.
Mr Abbott said the fire had created a lot of interest with locals visiting the site late last week and over the weekend.
“It has certainly created a lot of community interest,” he said.
“We’ve said that fire was a common threat in the early 1800s and put up interpretive signage.
“We’re getting lots of support, particularly more and more locals coming to have a look.”
Mr Abbott said they planned to rebuild the print shop, which was built in the late 1970s, and he had been in contact with other museums to replace some equipment.
“I can’t see any reason why we wouldn’t at this stage,” he said.
“It was one of the original buildings on the site.”
Mr Abbott was on holidays last week when he got the call that the damage had been done.
“It’s something no museum manager would want to deal with,” he said.
“It’s a case study which we can learn from though.
“I just want to thank everyone for their support. We will keep everyone updated along the way.”
The fire station is still standing and its roof is still intact but a lot of the framework has been burnt.
Flagstaff Hill hosted much of the local collection of old CFA trophies, awards and photographs. About 90 per cent of the brigade’s memorabilia was able to be saved, although some had been blackened and smoke damaged.
Last week, Warrnambool City Council mayor Jacinta Ermacora said she expected the council would re-establish a display at the village that recognises The Examiner, which was established in 1851 as the city’s first newspaper.