Fire Investigation Halts; Campbell Farms Still Smolders

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Investigators are at a standstill as smoke still lingers at what was once one of Campbell Farms potato storage facilities in Grafton.

The fire broke out in the early morning hours this past weekend.

The building and the potatoes inside is estimated to be a loss of several million dollars for the company.

However, Campbell Farms say it will only affect one area of production.

“In essence all it means we’ll probably be done shipping maybe a month earlier instead of going through June may the middle of May or so,” says Tom Campbell of Campbell Farms.

Campbell says the fire came as a surprise.

This is one of the company’s raw potato storage units that carries very little electronic equipment.

“Minimal activities no one living there there’s no offices or anything there. I felt a little bit relived if it would have been some of our other facilities where there are offices or we even have some sleeping corridors in some of our facilities,” says Campbell.

The loss comes at a time where potatoes will be in high demand for the holiday season.

Campbell Farms is one of the top potato producers in the valley, but local growers say as long as weather conditions are right there shouldn’t be a lack of supply.

“The crop that’s been throughout the valley this year providing that we get everything harvested gets the rain we need. I don’t think it will have a big effect on the supply of potatoes,” says Paul Dolan of  The Associated Potato Growers.

The Regional Fire Marshall is continuing to monitor the smoldering flames, and will begin the investigation to find a cause once the fire is completely out.