Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Update on the Fire Damage, Cost, and Consequences

It is getting close to two weeks since our "kitchen" fire.  Here is a rundown of what this means going forward.

Surprisingly light overall. The actual fire damage is limited to the heater/air unit itself, one light fixture, some wiring and some plumbing. Smoke damage is actually the worst. It appears that everything inside made of plastic is ruined, not cleanable due to the toxic nature of the electrical/plastic smoke. This includes plastic shelving in the fermenting room, plastic devices and tools, etc. Any food items are obviously ruined due to toxic smoke exposure. Wood used in cheesemaking is also "suspect" and must be tested, also the cheesecave itself.

View into the fermenting room where the fire started.

End of the kitchen against the fermenting room, shows fairly severe smoke damage all around

Fortunately most of the pumpkins and melons were already gone, the ones left are now ruined from toxic smoke fumes.

Here is the long view of the kitchen area

The source of the fire is inside this heating unit. Flames were shooting out from inside and caught the plastic front on fire. As the burning plastic from the front grill dripped down below, it landed on the plastic water pipes. As the pipes burned through, water sprayed out and doused the fire, extinguishing it completely.

You can see the smoke on the exterior fins of the heater unit.

Cleanup Cost:
We have an estimate from a local fire recovery business, at $8000 to $10,000 for a complete cleanup.  this is obviously beyond our budget so we will need to do cleanup on our own.

The good news is, cheese season is still a few months away, so there is time to proceed with cleanup without a huge rush. By the time cheese season rolls around, the kitchen should be back in operation.

The biggest consequence, other than the cost of replacing items inside and cleanup, is the delay in announcing our new products. Actually, this is perhaps the deepest cost. We had several products in testing but not yet finished for production scheduled for this year. These are now delayed indefinitely until we have appropriate work area.

Products now delayed:

Non-Toxic De-Greaser based on vinegar, essential oils, and baking soda
Organic Lip Balm from our bee wax
Non-Toxic Deodorant
Organic Oil based Anti-Acne Face Scrub
Frankincense Essential Oil + Full Resin Extract at naturally occurring proportions
Lard and Goat Milk Soaps
Chemical Free Baby Bottom cleaning system (Baby Wipe Replacement)

That gives an idea of the products under development... these are things that we use ourselves and were in the process of developing the packaging, sizing, and consistent recipes for resale. Some of these we can pursue without the "kitchen" work area, and some we can not. We will do our best, but it is safe to say that our schedule of monthly new product releases for 2017 is going to be tough to meet.

The good news in all this is, no one was hurt. Damage can be repaired, things can be replaced. We are prayerfully thankful that no one was around when the fire broke out and ultimately no humans nor animals were injured.

I'd also like to give a SPECIAL THANKS to the kind generous individuals that have donated directly to the farm during this trying time.  We deeply appreciate your gifts and touching words. Tragedy has a way of bringing out the best in neighbors, and we have some very kind neighbors!

Thank YOU!

(If you are interested in donating funds directly to our farm to help recover from this fire, you can do so with the "DONATE" button on the right of this page, under the weather report. If on a phone, click below on "view web version" first.)

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