March 6, 2014, Dunnville, Ont. – Firefighters have extinguished a
stubborn blaze that destroyed several facilities at Rosa Flora, one of
North America’s largest cut flower growers and wholesalers.
March 6, 2014, Dunnville, Ont. – Firefighters have extinguished a stubborn blaze that destroyed several facilities at Rosa Flora, one of North America’s largest cut flower growers and wholesalers.
According to news reports, the fire crews responded to the fire on Diltz Road about 1 a.m. this morning. It destroyed offices and some greenhouses, with a warehouse also burning.
Co-owner Ralph DeBoer talked to reporters this morning. “We have no idea yet how the fire started,” he said.
The company has between 150 and 180 employees, depending on the season.
ABOUT 15 OF 40 ACRES OF GREENHOUSES DESTROYED
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.
“We’re now going to assess the damage and decide how to move forward,” said DeBoer.
The destroyed greenhouses primarily were used to grow snapdragons, lisianthus and some gerbera.
MANY GREENHOUSES NOT AFFECTED
Greenhouses on the other side of Diltz Road were not affected. These greenhouses are used to grow large and mini gerbera, as well as alstroemeria and some other cut flowers.
On that side of the road, said DeBoer, “it’s business as usual. We’re working with our customers to continue to service them.”
Deliveries were expected to resume tomorrow (Friday).
EIGHT FIRE STATIONS RESPOND
Eight area fire stations were on the scene, including one from nearby Wainfleet.
One news report says three firefighters were taken to hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. They are said to be in stable condition.
Police at the scene say no one was in the building at the time the fire broke out and that no other injuries are being reported.
ONE OF INDUSTRY'S MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES
Rosa Flora has some some 1.6 million square feet of production and has long been regarded as one of the most innovative greenhouse operations in the industry.
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. Click here for that report.
“Hopefully this is just a bump in the road and we’ll continue to move forward,” said DeBoer.
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