DAN SCHANTZ FARM AND GREENHOUSE, LLC
Cleanup efforts have begun at Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouse, LLC in the wake of a fire resulting in extensive damage to the Lower Milford Township facility.
In a telephone call Jan. 5 to The Press John Carl, part owner of the business, said excavating equipment was on site and damaged materials were being cleared.
“It’s been devastating for us,” he said. “It’s quite a shock.”
Assessment of the damage was not complete and a cause was not yet determined.
A neighbor noticed smoke coming from greenhouse area the evening of Jan. 3, Carl said. Firefighters were at the facility by 8:30 p.m. and stayed through the night.
The remote location of the facility and the fire itself on the expansive farm property required water be brought in by tanker trucks. Approximately 100 firefighters and 20 engines from fire companies in Lehigh and surrounding counties battled the blaze.
The fire claimed the soil room, several planting rooms and offices, loading docks, forklifts and bulb coolers as well as planting materials such as peat moss, Carl said. Plastic supplies, including pots, also were lost.
No one was hurt and, as of Jan. 5, the fire was out.
According to public county assessment records accessible through the Lehigh County Assessment Records search, the property, classed as commercial, is over 83 acres. The land use is described as greenhouse/nursery and a sign at the property entrance reads Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses LLC Wholesale Only.
In addition to a single family residence, equipment buildings for light commercial equipment, an office, an electrical room, several greenhouses and outbuildings are listed as on the property.
Christmas lights and decorations outside a large white farmhouse at the front of the property withstood gusty breezes under partly cloudy skies while dark gray smoke rose into the air from what appeared to be greenhouses to the rear of the property late morning Jan. 4. The expansive property sits at the corner of Spinnerstown Road and Plover Lane.
According to a website for the location, the wholesale facility offers Easter and Christmas flowers, character mums, house and indoor plants and outdoor plants, vegetable plants and herbs and ornamental items such as painted pumpkins to retailers.
Fire crews erected barriers to halt the spread of the fire into the greenhouses, Carl said.
The wholesale facility supplies flowers and plantings to retailers along the East Coast including Giant, Redner’s, Weis and Whole Foods markets and Lowe’s.
During the Christmas season the facility provided one million poinsettias plants.
Among losses were bulbs for tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other spring plantings.
“There will be some disruption,” Carl said.
However, the Dan Schantz business has greenhouses at other locations in the area. Also, members of the growing community have offered help. Customers also have offered support.
Carl and others are reviewing losses, reordering if necessary and replacing what was damaged. The business remains open and employees are reporting for work. Plans are to rebuild.
“We’re looking toward the future,” Carl said.