Fire causes $1 million in damage

CELERYVILLE - It appears lightning may have been the cause of the fire at Holthouse Farms Thursday. Though the cause of the blaze still is under investigation, it is possible the fire started from a lightning strike at the southwest corner of the property, Assistant Willard Fire Chief Joe Reiderman said this morning.
Scott Seitz
Jul 25, 2010

CELERYVILLE - It appears lightning may have been the cause of the fire at Holthouse Farms Thursday.

Though the cause of the blaze still is under investigation, it is possible the fire started from a lightning strike at the southwest corner of the property, Assistant Willard Fire Chief Joe Reiderman said this morning.

"We're talking $1 million-plus and that's an estimate," Reiderman said about the damage.

Holthouse Farms is located on Ohio 103 near Celeryville.

"There were five vehicles lost inside the building and several more farm vehicles outside that had some damage," he added. "A pole barn with a roof that was used for storage was lost as was the machine shop."

Nine departments responded to the fire, as did the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, state fire marshal's office, sheriff's office and the Huron County Emergency Management Agency (EMA).

"It was greatly appreciated the help of mutual aid departments and personnel," Reiderman said.

American Red Cross representatives was also on the scene.

"The Red Cross did a wonderful job taking care of the firefighters and the people there," he added. "They had three crews working."

Reiderman said the fire nearly extended into the main building. An area near the produce cooler was where the fire was stopped at the main building.

Willard Fire had battled a few flare-ups since the main fire Thursday.

Reiderman estimated about 2 million gallons of water were used to fight the fire.

Bill Ommert, EMA director, said some oil products burnt up in the fire. "There was no run-off."