BOW — The facility where Bow Hill Blueberries makes its jams, juices, and other products was destroyed in a fire early Tuesday morning.
“All of the value-added production and our warehouse, where we do our shipping and berry processing, was damaged. The building is not recoverable,” Bow Hill Blueberries co-owner Emma Ranz said Wednesday.
No one was in the building when the fire broke out about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Skagit County spokesperson Laura Han said the fire started in the area of the building that housed refrigeration compressors. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The blaze also destroyed the farm’s new blueberry harvester, which was sitting just outside the warehouse. The farm’s retail store was also damaged.
The rest of the 5-acre farm remains intact. The farm’s blueberry plants, including 75-year-old heirloom varieties, were untouched by the fire. A barn where farming equipment is stored was not damaged.
Ranz said the farm still has the majority of the blueberries it harvested this year. Those are stored at another facility, and brought over in batches.
“We lost some of our blueberries, and we lost all of our products we made over the last six weeks,” she said. “We are effectively out of business for a little while until we can figure how to process off site.”
She said many in Skagit County have offered to help, or to provide production space.
On Wednesday, owners Ranz, her husband Ezra Ranz and his sister Audrey Matheson surveyed the blackened rubble of the building.
The three, along with Audrey’s husband Andrew Matheson, bought Bow Hill Blueberries in the fall of 2020. The business specializes in making blueberry juice, jam, pickled blueberries and blueberry powder.
Emma and Ezra Ranz, who live in a house next door to the farm, were alerted to the fire early Tuesday morning by a neighbor who had called 911.
Skagit County fire districts 5, 6 and 14 responded to the fire.
Emma Ranz said firefighters were on site for 12 hours responding to the blaze.
She said some of the equipment inside the facility may be salvageable.
“We hope to be able to bring back a small selection of our products fairly soon,” she said. “At the moment, it looks like we’re going to be out of production at this location for a quiet a while.”