Monday, January 11, 2016

Dunsmoor Onion Farm Fire Still Smoldering Sunday Jan. 10

Firefighters fight onion farm fire. Drone photo by Shawn Cathcart
Update on Dunsmoor onion farm fire:

Oswego Town Fire Department Chief Greg Herrmann said the fire scene on Route 104 at the Dunsmoor onion farm still was smoldering Jan. 10 when fire officials went back to the scene.

A total of 20 fire departments and 39 pieces of fire apparatus fought the Jan. 2 blaze. Area residents reported hearing explosions just before seeing flames bellowing up from the Dunsmoor onion farm.

Onions piled in front of the collapsed Dunsmoor building Jan. 2. Drone photo by Shawn Cathcart
Herrmann said 46,000 square feet of processing area and storage area were destroyed.

Herrmann didn't know exactly how many onions were lost, but said "it was a hair less" than the amount lost by Sorbello and Son Farms in a December 2013 fire at that Granby farm. A packing, sorting, grading and storage facility and about 115,000 50-pound units of onions were lost in the Sorbello fire. 

Herrmann said a processing facility and a connected storage building were destroyed in the Dunsmoor fire. He said it was difficult to fight and to put out all smoldering areas because the onions were tightly packed in wooden crates and the building was steel with a steel roof. He said the only way to get to all the burning areas would be to cut through all that steel.

Herrmann said the fire began in a truck that was parked outside the facility at the loading dock. But officials have not yet determined what happened to the truck to start the fire. 

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