Cause of Gar Tootelian Fire Under Investigation
Over one hundred firefighters and equipment responded to a four-alarm shop fire at the Gar Tootelian, Inc. (GAR) facility in Reedley, CA. The Ag Retail site was closed at the time the fire broke out, no one was hurt and no agricultural chemicals caught fire in the blaze, which was contained to the 20,000-square foot shop area.
“We are extremely grateful for the quick response from Fresno County, Fresno, Reedley, Dinuba, Selma and Clovis Fire Departments to quickly extinguish the fire and for no one being injured,” said Greg Musson, CEO and President of GAR.
The fire started in the facility’s maintenance and fabrication shop causing an estimated $2 million in damages. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The state-of the art facility was designed with safety in mind to isolate flammable materials from possible contaminates and chemical materials stored on the site. The 100,000-gallon emergency water suppression storage on site proved invaluable and was exhausted by fire crews fighting the fire.
“We want to thank our growers and reassure them that we will be ready to serve them on Monday morning as we re-build GAR,” said managing partner Karen Musson.
Gar Tootelian, Inc. is a locally owned and operated family business established in 1949. The company is an industry and community leader. Community activities and sponsorships include: the Fresno Grizzlies Farm Grown Community Fund, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s Valley Farm, Valley PBS Valley’s Gold and Education through Agriculture, the Center for Land Based Learning FARMS Advanced and California Ag in the Classroom. In 2011, GAR raised $1.65 million to expand the Clovis Medical Center Emergency Room in honor of Central Valley Farmers and their Families and has also raised nearly $500,000 in its annual Feeding Families Fund Drive to support the Community Food Bank.
GAR’s Industry honors and recognitions include: Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) 2016 National Agricultural Retailer of the Year; 2015 Environmental Respect Award (ERA) for North America by CropLife and DuPont; and the 2013 Baker Peterson & Franklin’s Fresno Chamber Agricultural Business of the Year. The all-female owned company provides water, nutrition, regulatory and crop care advice and products to more than 1,500 Central Valley growers.