COLUMBIA STATION, OH -- Little remains of a family-owned greenhouse that has been a place to buy flowering plants in Lorain County for more than forty years.
A fire tore through J & J Greenhouse Saturday evening when the family was taking a dinner break. John Frawley, who owns the greenhouse with his parents Jay and Jean Frawley, said alarms went off in the greenhouse indicating there was a temperature problem.
“When we went out to look, it didn't take but a second and we saw the fire in the building right behind me here, our sales area," Frawley said.
Seven neighboring fire departments assisted Columbia Station firefighters to get the blaze under control.
The Frawley's have run J & J Greenhouse on Folley Road in Columbia Station since 1969.
“It’s sad. My dad built everything here. Everything. It's a big loss," Frawley’s daughter Vickie Skowronski said.
The entire bulb crop was likely lost in the fire. There were 30,000 pots of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths that were to be sold in the Spring.
“The coolers were full of our bulbs that we were working on all fall,” Frawley said.
Despite all the damage, the Frawley's are grateful that the fire did not spread to the family house or the Christmas trees up front. At least they can be sold.
Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire that did an estimated $500,000 in damage. The Frawley's have not yet decided if they will rebuild the family business.