Fire burns Kinsey Farms’ warehouse

01/22/2010 05:13:50 PM
Dawn Withers

An asparagus processing warehouse owned by Kinsey Farms, Sunnyside, Wash., sustained major damage from a fire Jan. 20, according to the company.

The newspaper reported the fire was extinguished Jan. 21 after the 6,000-square-foot warehouse burned overnight with 28 firefighters needed to battle the blaze. Firefights were able to save a cold storage facility connected by a conveyor belt, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic.
 
Owner Mark Kinsey said the warehouse is used to pack the company’s primary product, asparagus, which is shipped between April and June.
 
Four computerized packing lines, along with three older lines, were lost in the fire, Kinsey said, but he hopes to have a new facility in place before the asparagus season starts in April.
 
“We don’t have a lot of time,” Kinsey said.
 
The warehouse wasn’t in use, Kinsey said, and during the season about 80,000, 20-pound cartons of asparagus are packed and shipped from there to retail customers. Kinsey estimates the value of the lost warehouse and equipment at about $1 million.
 
Kinsey Farms also grows a variety of squashes, Kinsey said.
 
The cause of the fire is not known and no injuries were reported, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic, but the county fire marshal is investigating.



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