Cold hampers effort at Ohio greenhouse blaze

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Associated Press

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 20 at 2:02 PM

OBERLIN, Ohio (AP) — Freezing temperatures hampered firefighters as a wind-whipped blaze ripped through one of the Midwest's biggest greenhouse operations, destroying up to two dozen greenhouses.

Green Circle Growers said Wednesday the fire engulfed a production barn and 5 acres of its 105 acres of greenhouse space.

There were no reports of injuries in the fire Tuesday night and early Wednesday near Oberlin, 30 miles southwest of Cleveland.

No cause was immediately determined.

Chief Brian Jackson of the Camden Township Fire Department told WJW-TV that 20 to 25 greenhouses were destroyed. The greenhouses are heated by a boiler fueled by wood chips.

Firefighters were hindered by 20-degree temperatures and 30 mph winds. Florence Township Assistant Fire Chief Jim Carrico said tanker truck valves froze.

The greenhouse grows pansies, orchids and bonsai trees.

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