OBERLIN, Ohio - A fire at Green Circle Growers in Lorain County destroyed five acres of greenhouses on Tuesday.
The fire was called in at about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday and started in a hay barn. Firefighters from 12 departments helped tackle the intense flames. About 24 hours later, firefighters were back at the scene where the fire had rekindled.
“It was definitely a beast of its own. Forty-mile-an-hour winds, snow, freezing temperatures, tanks freezing up, water, air pack… It was definitely a monster,” volunteer firefighter Kenny Mandeville said.
State fire marshals are still looking for the exact cause of the blaze, but they might never know because the fire was so massive and there is a huge amount of rubble. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also helping in the investigation.
There are about 105 acres of greenhouses at the farm. The fire hit areas that house annuals, like geraniums and ferns, but they can still fill orders from other suppliers.
“Thankfully it was early enough in the season that we didn’t have a lot planted,” Scott Giesbrecht said. “Our facilities are spread out strategically to minimize the risk associated with an event like last night.”
Firefighters said the owner’s home had to be evacuated. No one was injured.
Green Circle Growers supplies plants to 48 states and Canada, plus Heinen’s, Giant Eagle and Buhler’s locally. It is especially known for supplying 75,000 orchids a week.
The farm employs 600 people.
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