"I believe the heat block was turned on (instead of the spin function) and in the process of setting up, transfer buffer spilled over. Due to the methanol in the buffer, it's flammable, poof, fire. There was some damage to the cold room, where the overnight transfers are done. This was a few years ago before I joined the lab, but serves as a constant reminder to NEVER turn the heat block on, only the spinning function. Because when your PI is awakened in the middle of the night because there was a fire, they are never happy in the morning."