100-YEAR-OLD GREENHOUSE BURNS AT MOHICAN FLOWERS

100-YEAR-OLD GREENHOUSE

BURNS AT MOHICAN FLOWERS

A 100-year-old greehouse behind Mohican Flowers, Cooperstown, is consumed in "a ball of flame" last evening.  The fire broke out at about 10:30 p.m.  (Photo by Bill Waller)
A 100-year-old greenhouse behind Mohican Flowers, Cooperstown, is consumed in “a ball of flame” last evening. The fire broke out at about 10:30 p.m. (Photo by Bill Waller)

Main Building Saved; Business May Reopen Monday

By JIM KEVLIN • www.allotsego.com

Charred remains and little more is all that's left of the greenhouse behind Mohican Flowers today.  The fire began in a cellar, in the foreground, where the oil burner was located.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Charred remains and little more is all that’s left of the greenhouse behind Mohican Flowers today. The fire began in a cellar, in the foreground, where the oil burner was located. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
The Wallers' Bayliner Classic, containing 50 gallons of gasoline, was only 10 feet from the flames, but a firefighter directing a hose on it while colleagues fought the main blaze and an explosion was avoided.  In the background, wearing hat, Bill Waller briefs a neighbor on what happened.
The Wallers’ Bayliner Classic, containing 50 gallons of gasoline, was only 10 feet from the flames, but a firefighter directed a hose on it while colleagues fought the main blaze and an explosion was avoided. In the background, wearing hat, Bill Waller briefs a neighbor on what happened.

COOPERSTOWN – A 100-year-old greenhouse behind Mohican Flowers was consumed last evening by what proprietor Carol B. Waller’s husband Bill described as “a ball of flame, an orange ball of flame.”

The Wallers – Carol is former Cooperstown mayor –  had gone to bed when they heard over the scanner at about 10:30 p.m. that a house on Leatherstocking Street, behind the greenhouse, was on fire.   Former fire chief Brian Clancy, who lives on Leatherstocking and made the original call, called in in a few moments later to correct the location:  It was behind the flower shop.

The Wallers hurried to the scene to find the greenhouse fully engulfed.

However, firefighters with AirPacs went into the main building, which was attached to the greenhouse, closed the connecting door and opened the front upstairs windows to let the smoke out.   That saved the building, and Carol said she expects to be open for business by Monday.

“The fire department did a marvelous job,” said Bill.  “They saved the building.”

He said the fire started in a basement under the potting shed where the oil burner is located.  The official cause of fire was still uncertain today.  However, Bill said a state inspector had done a routine inspection of the burner just last week.

The Wallers’ Bayliner Classic boat, containing 50 gallons of gasoline, was parked about 10 feet from the greenhouse, and the tarp was melted onto the boat today.  However, Bill said a firefighter stood by the boat, directing a spray of water against it, and little damage was done.

Some of the siding on Bieritz Insurance, close to Mohican Flowers on the west side, had melted, and associated Ben Novellano was on the roof this morning, trying to determine the extent of the damage.

In addition to Cooperstown’s firefighters, Fly Creek and Hartwick Seminary responded.