Fire breaks out at Porter’s at the Arbor Day Farm

Firefighters worked to put out a fire on the  Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City. (Credit: Stephanie Robles)
Firefighters worked to put out a fire on the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City. (Credit: Stephanie Robles)(Stephanie Robles)
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 6:25 AM CDT
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NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. (NCN) – Firefighters extinguished a fire Wednesday evening that severely damaged the Porter’s restaurant area of the historic Apple House at the Arbor Day Farm.

The fire had engulfed the dining area and smoke was pouring out of the roof edges up one of the A-frames of the complex when firefighters arrived.

Water from the first arriving pumper had positive effect and a connection with a nearby fire hydrant helped firefighters save the complex.

The historic portions of the building, including the apple sorting area, were undamaged.

Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe was on scene late Wednesday individually thanking firefighters.

“First and foremost everybody’s safe, no staff, no customers, no community members were at risk and we could not be more grateful for the leadership the work of the local fire department and regional fire departments who helped control  this fire," said Lambe. "It sounds like, as we know right now, the historic parts of the apple house and barn are safe and can be repaired.”

Damage was mostly contained to upstairs offices and portions of the building housing Porter’s at the Apple House Market. At one point, flames were shooting higher than the surrounding trees, but firefighters say the fire did not reach the roof rafters over the main building.

A witness believed to be among the first to dial 911 ran to the building to see if there was anyone inside, but said the restaurant was closed and there was no one was in danger.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.

Arbor Day Farm says plans for the Apple Jack Festival will go on.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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