BURLINGTON, Vt. — Scientists nationwide are praising Vermont firefighters for the care they took in preserving the University of Vermont’s prized plant collection after a fire ravaged the historic building they were kept in.

Fire officials tell (http://bfpne.ws/2vdaW46 ) the Burlington Free Press they received over 65 messages praising their work at the University of Vermont’s Torrey Hall. The Pringle Herbarium, which stored over 300,000 prized specimens from Vermont and other locations, was damaged in a fire Thursday caused by construction workers soldering copper on the hall’s exterior.

Burlington firefighters covered cabinets containing the samples with tarps. UVM biologist Dave Barrington says firefighters at the scene made “excellent decisions.”

Shannon Dominick, a biologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, applauded the efforts of the fire department in a Facebook post.

Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com