Fire breaks out in NMU chemistry storage room

Marquette city firefighters are at the scene of a small fire that broke out this morning in the New Science Building at Northern Michigan University. Crews were to handle water damage throughout the day. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)

MARQUETTE — The New Science Building at Northern Michigan University was evacuated following a small fire that broke out at in a storage room in the chemistry storage room at about 8:30 this morning.

Chemicals are stored in this room, although they weren’t the direct cause, said NMU spokesman Derek Hall.

“It wasn’t chemicals, it was a garbage can in that room,” Hall said. “The suppression system went off. It pumps about 300 gallons a minute, so that worked, but that causes a lot of issues related to that much water damage to that facility.

The storage room is on the third floor.

“There was a lot of smoke, and now we’re just dealing with water,” Hall said.

The building was to be closed for the day, with employees sent home.

Since it was a chemical storage room, the fire had the potential to be dangerous he said, but the fire-suppression system worked properly.

“No one was injured,” Hall said.

The chemistry department is located at 3301 New Science Building, which is in the Seaborg Science Complex on NMU’s academic mall. It is connected to the West Science Building and is across from the Learning Resources Center.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is