A fire at a historic building at the University of Vermont threatened the natural history collections in the Pringle Herbarium. Initial assessments, however, indicate that the collection was not harmed.
The herbarium holds the state’s largest flora collection–more than 300,000 specimens. The specimens date back to 1810.
The building also houses the university’s insect and mammal collections. The university said in a statement that the animal collections appear to be undamaged.
The blaze was likely caused by construction workers who were soldering copper. Although the fire was contained to the upper parts of the building, water damage occurred throughout the building.
The university will move the collections and are planning to restore the building.