A fire Tuesday night in a room of the main building at The Jackson Laboratory’s Bar Harbor campus damaged some storage boxes but has not resulted in any disruption of the lab’s operations.
The fire was reported after 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to Bar Harbor Fire Chief Matt Bartlett. He said it was contained to one room where it consumed some “storage boxes, papers and plastics.” Sprinklers in the room were activated, and flames “scorched” some of the piping in the room, he said.
Catherine Longley, the biomedical research lab’s president and COO, said Wednesday that no employees or research mice were affected by the fire, which she described as “very small” and said was quickly extinguished. The lab is “grateful” to the fire departments from surrounding towns who were called out to respond to the alarm, she said.
Bartlett said the State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating and has not yet determined what caused the fire.
Jackson Lab is the largest employer in Hancock County, where the overwhelming majority of its 1,700 Maine employees are based at its Bar Harbor headquarters. The lab uses mice to study human health and reproduces specialty strains of mice that it sells to biomedical research facilities around the world.
The lab, which was founded in 1929, has twice been devastated by fires — once in a massive 1947 forest fire that burned much of eastern Mount Desert Island, and again in a 1989 structure fire that destroyed a mouse production building and killed about 400,000 mice.