The new exhibit at the Alaska SeaLife Center focuses on the center’s ongoing research, Tuesday, July 23, 2019, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska SeaLife Center)

The new exhibit at the Alaska SeaLife Center focuses on the center’s ongoing research, Tuesday, July 23, 2019, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska SeaLife Center)

Small fire breaks out at SeaLife Center

Staff from the avian curatorial recovered two long-tailed ducks that were being held in the area.

The Seward Volunteer Fire Department responded to a small fire at the Alaska SeaLife Center on Wednesday, according to a Jan. 9 press release from the center.

The fire occurred in the SeaLife Center’s avian curatorial on the second floor of the facility around 6:37 p.m. Wednesday night, according to the release. Firefighters saw smoke coming from the building upon arrival and discovered that the fire sprinkler system had already extinguished what was believed to have been a small electrical fire.

Staff from the avian curatorial recovered two long-tailed ducks that were being held in the curatorial. SeaLife Center veterinary staff and avian staff treated the birds, and the animals seem to be recovering, according to the release. No staff or other animals were injured in the fire.

The SeaLife Center sustained water damage in the avian curatorial as well as the first floor BP Theater and Exit Exhibit/Donor Recognition area. The SeaLife Center was closed to the public on Thursday for cleanup and to replace the sprinkler heads and sensors, and resumed normal operating hours on Friday.

“I’m so proud to work with this staff who, as a team, are willing to take on the challenges, learn from the experiences and go on with the important mission of the Alaska SeaLife Center,” center Chief Operating Officer Chip Arnold said in the release. “Thank you Fire Chief Clinton Crites and the Seward Volunteer Fire Department for handling the situation with speed, professionalism and tact.”

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