Family-Owned Nursery Destroyed by Fire - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Family-Owned Nursery Destroyed by Fire

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SPARTANSBURG - An early morning fire destroyed a family-owned nursery farm in Spartansburg, Wednesday morning.

The fire was reported at around 7:30 a.m. when two Berkey's Nursery workers saw smoke pouring from the roof of the barn.

"They went to check it out and it was so bad that when they tried to get out of the barn, they couldn't even see each other, the smoke was just so thick," said Melissa Holbey, co-owner of Berkey's Nursery.

The farm has been in the Berkey family since the 1950's.

Ryan Berkey said the workers were able to save some farm equipment and trucks, but they lost about 5 years worth of seed.

"Rebuilding is one thing but the seed is not replaceable because it's all genetically grown in our orchards," said Berkey.  "We grow between 1.5 and 2 million plants a year."

It took crews from 7 area fire departments all morning to battle the blaze.

As for the Berkey family; they hope to rebuild and gather enough new seed.

"It's just a matter of what we can collect this fall when the cones are ready.  But it's going to be tough, it's going to be very hard," said Berkey.

The fire is believed to be electrical, but no cause has been confirmed yet.  An investigation is underway.
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