Rare Stephen King book collection destroyed in flood

President Barack Obama awards a 2014 National Medal of Arts to author Stephen King on September 10, 2015. On Tuesday, King offered to help a fan replace a rare collection of his books that were lost in a flood. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Jan. 18 (UPI) — A rare Stephen King collection that included dozens of first-edition prints, signed copies and hand-typed manuscripts was destroyed after the collector’s basement was flooded Tuesday.

A water main burst in front of Gerald Winters’ Bangor, Maine rare bookstore where he kept the prized collection that took decades to amass.

Winters told the Bangor Daily News that he lost more than 2,000 books, which included signed copies by other authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin.

“You can’t replace this stuff,” he said.

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But once King himself heard of the news, he said he was “horrified” to about his fan’s loss and vowed to help replace some of the material.

Meanwhile, Bangor officials are scratching their head about how the water main burst in the first place.

Kathy Moriarty, general manager of the Bangor Water District, said the pipe should have good for another 70 years.

“It’s unusual for a 32-year-old pipe to fail,” she said. “It shouldn’t have failed,” she said.

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