Thanks to local support, Murray Farm and Greenhouse is on its way back after fire

  • A row of plants affected by smoke and heat from a Wednesday morning fire at Murray Farms Greenhouses are shown on April 10, 2019. A building on the farm burned to the ground early in the morning, but the greenhouses only sustained damage in the front. Most of the plants the farm is planning to sell were not harmed by the fire. Caitlin Andrews

  • A row of greenhouses that were scorched by an early-morning fire at Murray Farms Greenhouses is shown on Wednesday morning on April 10, 2019. A building on the farm burned to the ground, and multiple surrounding towns responded to the scene. Caitlin Andrews

  • A Concord firefighter surveys the wreckage of a building at Murray Farms Greenhouses Wednesday morning on April 10, 2019. A building on the farm burned to the ground after an early-morning blaze. Multiple surrounding towns responded to the scene. Caitlin Andrews

Monitor staff
Published: 4/12/2019 5:20:42 PM

David Murray, whose family has owned Murray Farm and Greenhouse in Penacook for more than 100 years, said the quick clean up after a Wednesday fire has gone well, aided by support from the community and employees, past and present.

‘The outpouring of help has been fantastic,” Murray said. “However, it’s a long road ahead of us.”

In less than 48 hours since the fire destroyed the main building and damaged adjacent greenhouses, electricity and heat were restored and the gable in the greenhouse has been replaced.

Those measures saved the spring crop and will give Murray and his staff time to transplant everything starting next week.

Meanwhile, Concord Fire Marshal Paul Sirois announced Friday that the fire was ruled an accident caused by “an oil fired boiler failure.” The chief mechanical inspector for the state assisted in the investigation as well.

Murray said he hopes to open for business on time, later this month, despite the fact that the fire turned the main building, which housed the water pumps, generators and boilers, into a twisted hunk of metal roofing and debris.

When contacted Friday afternoon, Murray was on his way out to make flower deliveries to a fundraiser for the Bow Middle School French Club, and a Boy Scout Troop in Manchester.

“We’re keeping busy, but we must do the cleanup as well,” Murray said. “We cannot commence cleanup until everyone is settled. It’s critical because of all the debris doesn’t look very nice, and to get rid of all that before we open would be great.”

The Concord Fire Department needed its full staff, including several off-duty firefighters, to bring the fire under control, arriving at the farm at 115 River Road at about 3:30 Wednesday morning. A neighbor living across the Contoocook River saw the flames and called 911.

The main building was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived. The steep banks near the Contoocook River made it difficult to access water, so a portable tank was used to supply the large amounts of water needed to douse the flames.

The fire, which also destroyed two trailers and a smaller building, was under control by 6 a.m. Wednesday. Firefighters stayed throughout the day removing debris. The fire partially melted the greenhouses closest to the main building, and the shingles on one of the property’s houses were also melted.

Murray lives in the house at the 80-acre farm, where his father was born more than 100 years ago. The farm switched from livestock to plants in 1964.

The Murray family has owned the business since 1904. David Murray, 62, began working there at age 7.


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