New Hampshire

4-Alarm Fire Destroys Several Greenhouses at Family-Run Business

The farm has been in the Murray family since 1904, and the greenhouse business started operating in 1964, according to Concord fire officials

A massive fire ripped through a century-old farm Wednesday morning in Concord, New Hampshire.

Fire officials say 100-foot flames raged for more than an hour before crews got things under control.

The massive pile of burned rubble that now sits in front of the greenhouses on River Road was once the main structure at Murray Farm.

The damage is extensive, but it could have been worse, since the family has two homes on the property.

Melted siding on one of them is proof that the flames came dangerously close to burning the houses down.

"The melting of the siding is an impressive visual for me to realize how close this fire came to not only destroying the livelihood of people in our community, but also destroying the residence," said Concord Fire Chief Dan Andrus. "It looks like neither one of those things is going to happen."

Andrus says Wednesday fire is one of the biggest the city has seen is almost a decade.

"For probably more than an hour, we had flames 50 to 100 feet in the air," he said.

Within hours, the Murray family found themselves coordinating the biggest cleanup of their life.

The fire demolished the building that housed the farm's infrastructure.

"Supplies, pumps, electricity, it's our office, and all of that's all gone," David Murray said.

Although flames ripped through the front of the greenhouses, things are moving quickly to try and save most of the plants.

"We're closing in already," Murray said as a crew lifted a giant piece of plastic over the front of the first greenhouse.

That's thanks to the dozens of people stopping by to lend a hand.

"It was my first greenhouse job, and I've been in the business ever since," said former Murray Farm employee Kevin Bragg. "So I want to help them out."

Murray says he's received hundreds of text messages and is overwhelmed by the support.

When asked if it made him feel good, Murray replied, "As good as I can feel on a bad day."

It's a day so bad, it could have easily meant the end of the Murray Farm. But instead, it will do just the opposite.

"The things that don't kill you make you tougher," Murray said. "No matter how bad it is, no matter what the curveballs are, you got to keep going, no matter what."

Murray is hoping to reopen in time for Mother's Day.

Authorities are investigating, but they say the fire doesn't appear to be suspicious.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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