[cifnmedia] Fire destroys Corner Market's retail, storage areas

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 11:17:56 -0700 (PDT)

Fire destroys Corner Market's retail, storage areas
 Fire destroys Corner Market's retail, storage areas
 
 
 
 
By Janell Bradley April 10, 2004 
 
 
 
 
 
Linda Manske talks about the loss of all but the greenhouse portion of the 
business she operates with husband Paul, and their oldest son, The Corner 
Market, just north of Oelwein.
 
They were just hours away from readying the business for it's spring opening on 
Monday, when an employee of The Corner Market in Oelwein, saw flames in a 
building that housed machinery and cardboard boxes, Friday afternoon.  
 

By Janell Bradley
      They were just hours away from readying the business for it's spring 
opening on Monday, when an employee of The Corner Market in Oelwein, saw flames 
in a building that housed machinery and cardboard boxes, Friday afternoon.
      Owners Paul and Linda Manske were working on-site and with some of the 
nine employees that were on the grounds preparing for the season's opening, 
attempted to extinguish the flames with garden hoses and fire extinguishers 
until firefighters arrived, about 3:30 p.m.
      The Oelwein Fire Department was first at the scene and later the Maynard, 
Hazleton and Westgate fire departments were called to assist.
      Three steel-sided buildings situated side-by-side from west to east, were 
considered a total loss by the owners. Although the fire began in the building 
farthest to the west, strong winds fanned the flames into both of the other 
buildings, including the retail shop, which housed coolers for fresh produce, 
statuary, baskets and numerous other gift items.
      "I have an order of cheese coming in Monday they'll just have to take 
back because I have no refrigeration," said Linda Manske, Saturday, as a family 
friend stepped in to say partial electricity had been restored so the tens of 
thousands of bedding plants could be watered in the three greenhouses that are 
104 by 30', 70 by 30 and 90 by 100 in size.
      Dedicated employees that returned to the market Saturday morning were 
transplanting flats of 512 annual flower "plugs" in each of 72 flats, to 
six-pack and four-pack containers.
      As the fire spread from one building to another, Manske said, "I just 
stood there and prayed the wind didn't switch and blow north," as it would have 
taken the greenhouses too. 
      A backhoe sifted through the rubble of the buildings and pulled apart the 
melted walls of a walk-in cooler of a building as Manske watched. "I remember 
when we built that cooler and now we're tearing it down," she said sadly.
      A sweet corn harvester that allowed one person to operate a machine that 
could pick a day's worth of sweet corn to be sold at retail, was among the 
losses the Manskes said it would be hard to replace. There were also five 
antique tractors, and a John Deere Gator.
      Although the business was covered by insurance, the loss was extensive 
and will limit some of their operation.
      "We lost a pallet of little plastic pots, stacked four feet wide and six 
feet high," she said, "that was $2,000 just gone up in smoke."
      Still, the Corner Market will open business as usual on Monday ... 
offering bedding plants, perennials, potted plants, rose bushes and a limited 
selection of garden decorative items. Many nursery plants are still scheduled 
to arrive next week, the Manskes said.
      "We don't want people to think we're done," said Manske. "We will not be 
back in our entirety this season, but we will rebuild."
             
 
©Newspapers of Fayette County 2004  
 
 
Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network
cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
www.geocities.com/central_illinois_firenet


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