A fire that ripped through a barn-style building in Sardis has slowed down a local farming operation, but won’t stop them.
The fire broke out at about 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday at Chilliwack Hop Farms, close to the corner of South Sumas at Unsworth Road. Four firehalls responded tot he fire, to discover the farm’s large workshop fully involved. They worked to establish a water supply to save the workshop, but it suffered heavy damage.
The fire crews, from Halls 1, 3, 4 and 6, were able to protect the nearby harvesting equipment from being damaged by the fire.
Shortly after the fire that morning, the owners of the farm released a statement on their social media accounts.
“We started the day with some tragic news,” they wrote. “Our main harvesting plant burnt down this morning. The exact cause of the fire is still unknown.”
We started the day with some tragic news. Our main harvesting plant burnt down this morning.… https://t.co/VF4UxIXvtC— Chilliwack Hop Farms (@Chilliwack_Hops) September 12, 2017
They said they were overwhelmed with instant support from those in the farming community, and won’t be out of operation for very long.
“We are so thankful for our many fellow hop farmers who have stepped up and offered to help us finish harvesting and processing. We will be back harvesting in a few days and will continue processing orders again starting tomorrow. We are extremely thankful that no one was hurt or inside the facility when the fire started. We still have a lot of hops to harvest and process and ongoing orders to process. We will resume processing orders tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who have offered their support and love during this time. We love you all!”
An investigation by fire department officials is underway, and the cause of the fire is still not known.
Hops are an ingredient in beer, and was once one of Chilliwack’s main crops. The hops industry has enjoyed a resurgence over recent years, with Chilliwack Hop Farms as one of those companies bringing the crop back the valley.