Owners vow to rebuild destroyed Otterburne greenhouse

A Jan. 23 fire that destroyed a southern Manitoba commercial greenhouse producing the province’s largest indoor crop of cucumbers remained under investigation at the end of last week.

The fire in the Otterburne-area greenhouse, co-owned by brothers Trevor and Scott Schriemer, started around 4:30 a.m. Twenty volunteer firefighters from St. Pierre-Jolys and St. Malo fought the blaze through windy and bitterly cold temperatures before it was contained about 8 a.m.

Trevor Schriemer was called to the scene before firefighters arrived and entered the smoke filled building himself to shut off the gas to the operation’s boilers. Treated for smoke inhalation at nearby Steinbach’s Bethseda Hospital, Schriemer and his brother later told Manitoba media they plan to rebuild.

No figures were released last week but the large greenhouse, built only two years ago, is believed to be worth several million dollars. The fire has left at least 15 people out of work, other media reports said.

Schriemer has been a well-known name associated with the gardening, produce vending and landscaping businesses in Manitoba since 1952 when the brothers’ father began marketing vegetables.

An RCMP spokesman said January 24 the cause of the fire or damages won’t be known until the RCMP and Office of the Fire Commissioner complete their investigations.

About the author

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Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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