Greenhouse fire damages hundreds of orchids

Firefighters responded to a greenhouse fire Wednesday morning that harmed an estimated 200,000 orchids and caused around $1 million in damage.

Firefighters from the Gilroy Sunrise Station responded to a greenhouse fire at 8:15 a.m. on the 1900 block of Buena Vista Avenue that harmed hundreds of orchids and caused at least $10,000 in damage according to business manager Dan Tan.

The damage is at least significantly smaller than the estimate given this morning by Karen Lin, whose parents own the business. She initially guessed that around 200,000 plants were harmed, causing approximately $1 million in damage.

“We will save whatever we can,” she said Wednesday morning, taking a closed orchid bud between thumb and forefinger and pinching it off the plant.

Lin’s parents have owned South Pacific Orchids, Inc. off Highway 101 near San Martin for 11 years. The family houses, grows and stores the bulk of their inventory – somewhere around 1.5 million plants in various growth stages at any given time – on an additional six acres of rural property along Buena Vista Avenue near the intersection of New Avenue.

Glancing down a long corridor marked by sooty shreds of plastic hanging from the ceiling, Lin said seven greenhouses were damaged during the fire. She is not sure of the cause but agreed it probably has something to do with the electrical system.

Click here to read a past Dispatch feature story on South Pacific Orchids. 

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