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Fire consumes three Chaser's greenhousesTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Travis Lee
Smoke hovers in the air around the remains of the greenhouses.
Photo by Travis Lee
This 1950s camper was used for storage.
Photo by George Lauby

Three hoop greenhouses at Chaser’s on Walker Road went up in flames Wednesday morning, after wiring in an electrical box apparently shorted out.

The North Platte firefighters were summoned at 8:54 a.m., Battalion Chief Dave Heitman said.

Owner Dan Chaser said his son Jason spent the night in the greenhouse office after fishing in the canal nearby. Dan said the flames were not very big when Jason first saw them. By the time the first fire truck arrived, one of the hoop greenhouses was fully involved in flames and greenhouses on either side were partially involved, Heitman said.

Fire fighters hooked hoses onto a hydrant just north across the street and worked to keep the flames from spreading to more buildings. An old camper west of the greenhouses caught fire and burned. Heitman said it was an early 1950s model that was used for storage.

Two hoop greenhouses were saved.

There was considerable material inside the greenhouses, Heitman said, including pallets of plant boxes and rolls of plastic which created some heavy black smoke as they burned.

No one was injured. Chaser guessed that the damage could be around $50,000.

“We will be open this fall,” Roxie Chaser said. “It won’t be tomorrow, but we will open.”

It is not the first disaster for the Chasers in recent years. Dan said their house in the hills near Lake Maloney was hit by a tornado in March 2012. That tornado also caused around $50,000 in damages.

“What saved us was the house was built in 1902,” he said. The walls are 12” thick with masony made with sand that is readily available near the lake.

On Wednesday, however, there were no brick walls. The plastic walls of the greenhouses were quickly consumed.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 8/23/2017
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