Nursery Fire Causes $600,000 in Damages

A fire at White’s Nursery in Chesapeake, Va., broke out May 24th causing an estimated $600,000 in damages. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Lead grower at the Nursery, Bob Bailey, was the first to discover the fire. “I heard the burglar alarm set off by glass breaking in the fire,” said Bailey, who responded by calling the Chesapeake emergency dispatch.

The city of Chesapeake’s Deep Creek Fire Station responded to the call, and spent the next two hours fighting the fire that consumed the interior of the nursery’s retail garden center, which constitutes 33 percent of the garden center sales area.

“Our hard-goods area, offices, registers, telephone, electrical and HVAC systems were completely destroyed,” said Tal White, owner of the facility. “It will take at least seven months to rebuild.”

Most of White’s retail sales have been annuals, potted plants and woody ornamentals because of the devastation caused in the hard goods area. Despite the loss, White says that they have been able to maintain their staff because of strong retail spring sales and fire clean up efforts.

Fire safety facts and figures:

  • Daily fire incidence is at its highest during the spring months - with a seasonal average of nearly 5,000 fires each day.
  • Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $12.3 billion in 2003.
  • The U.S. has one of the highest fire death rates in the industrialized world at 13.5 deaths per million.
  • To stay safe, install smoke detectors on every level of your home or workplace. Test them monthly and install new batteries.
  • Always have an escape route that everyone is familiar with.

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