No one was in the buildings at the time the fire broke out. Fire crews responded about 1 a.m. on Thursday, and continued to battle the blaze throughout the morning.
“We’re now going to assess the damage and decide how to move forward,” co-owner Ralph DeBoer told reporters.
'DEEPLY TOUCHED BY THE MANY EXPRESSIONS OF KINDNESS'
The company posted the following note of thanks on its Facebook page.
“We are deeply touched by the many expressions of kindness from our friends, neighbours, suppliers and customers. We have been inundated with offers of food, equipment, trucks, and other forms of assistance. As we move forward in the rebuilding process, we appreciate your prayers. They have been deeply felt. Production in all our crops will continue as usual except for our snapdragon and lisianthus. We will be shipping again on Monday. Contact Josh 905-981-9285 or Martin 905-981-8439 for any questions.”
The fire destroyed about 15 acres of the company’s 40 acres of greenhouses, along with sales, administration and logistics facilities, along with the flower cooler unit. The main crops affected were snapdragons, lisianthus and some gerbera.
GREENHOUSES ON OTHER SIDE OF ROAD NOT AFFECTED
Greenhouses on the other side of the road, in which much of the company’s gerbera production is carried out, were not affected. These greenhouses are also home to alstroemeria and other cut flower crops.
On that side of the road, said DeBoer, “it’s business as usual. We’re working with our customers to continue to service them.”
Rosa Flora was established in 1978, by Otto and Corine Bulk. In 2012, Otto was honoured with the 2012 Flowers Canada (Ontario) Lifetime Achievement Award ("Bulk earns 2012 FCG ‘Achievement’ award.")
“Hopefully this is just a bump in the road and we’ll continue to move forward,” said DeBoer.