Fire at Monticello garden center destroys greenhouses, thousands of plants

Fire at Monticello garden center destroys greenhouses, thousands of plants Photo: KSTP-TV

Updated: March 05, 2020 06:24 PM

A fire engulfed a garden center in Monticello on Thursday.


Smoke and flames were seen coming from Dan & Jerry's Garden Center shortly before noon.

"There was a lot of heavy black smoke, the wind was pushing hard out of the west, there's a newer pole building that the fire was pushing to," said Monticello Assistant Fire Chief Jake Olinger.

Crews were able to put the fire out fairly quickly, but enough damage was still done.

The company told KSTP two-and-a-half greenhouses were lost in the fire and thousands of plants were destroyed. The plants would've been distributed to area stores, such as Fleet Farm and Runnings as the busy season for nurseries and garden centers is just beginning.

"We actually put a lot of work into those little plants and actually just built those greenhouses within the last two years, so to lose them it's rough," said Kathy Connell with Dan and Jerry's.

There were four employees in the greenhouses, they actually smelled the fire and tried fire extinguishers before realizing that wasn't going to work.

Fire departments from Monticello, Buffalo and Maple Lake responded to the scene to battle the flames. Wright County said passersby noticed electrical lines sparking this morning, but they're still working to determine what the cause of the fire is.

"We had an outage so we're not sure, and Wright Hennepin came out and we heard there was something else going on in the area not anything to do with us and our computers were down and our generators were kicking in, we're not sure what was happening there because then all of a sudden we were the problem," said Connell.

Nobody was hurt.

Below is video sent to KSTP by Jeff Grotte.

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