Van Wingerden International in Mills River, N.C., held its annual poinsettia open house last weekend despite an accidental greenhouse fire Aug. 10 that had the potential to slow business dramatically. Authorities initially believed the fire was not naturally occurring and later ruled it an accident. However it occurred, Van Wingerden has managed to remain on schedule as the holiday season approaches.
The operation managed to obtain replacement plants for all poinsettias that burned, owner Bert Lemkes told The Times-News. Van Wingerden currently has 380,000 6-inch poinsettias.
“They never found accelerant,” Lemkes says.
The fire burned the last section of one of Van Wingerden’s greenhouses and the loss totaled $2.5 million, including structure damage and the cost of the poinsettias.
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