Photos by Chris Lopez
Five marijuana greenhouses at Loudpack Farms on Cherry Avenue in Greenfield were damaged in a fire Monday afternoon. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but officials have ruled out arson.
GREENFIELD — A devastating fire broke out Monday afternoon at Loudpack Farms in Greenfield, sending over a hundred employees running to safety as the blaze ripped through multiple greenhouses at the cannabis facility on Cherry Avenue.
According to officials, the fire started at about 4:20 p.m. on July 23 in between the greenhouses and quickly spread because of the South County winds and the absence of sprinklers inside the structures. Five of the facility’s eight greenhouses were destroyed.
Loudpack Farms, the city’s largest employer, is a manufacturer and cultivator of marijuana products and medical cannabis infused products. The 50,000-square-foot facility at 900 Cherry Ave. consists of a large manufacturing lab, offices and the light-deprivation greenhouses. Nearly 300 people are employed at the facility, the majority of whom are local residents.
As the fire alarms went off Monday, employees in the manufacturing areas, offices and labs were evacuated to safety, including those who had to scramble down the main building’s second floor stairwell. No one was injured in the incident, officials reported.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Jeff Terpstra, interim fire chief with the Greenfield Fire Department, said there are no indications of criminal intent, such as arson.
“We have ruled out arson or criminal indications and are now looking at accidental causes, like building components, electrical causes and human factors,” Terpstra said Tuesday.
He estimates that the fire caused millions of dollars in damages at the facility.
Along with the Greenfield Fire Department, agencies from King City, Soledad (Cal Fire/Correctional Training Facility) and Gonzales as well as the Monterey County Regional Fire District and the South Monterey County Fire Protection District assisted in the fire suppression operation.
“As we head back to work today after the unexpected fires at our Greenfield facility yesterday, we wanted to take a moment to thank the Greenfield Fire Department again for their incredible efforts in getting the fire under control so quickly,” said Loudpack Farms in a statement Tuesday. “While we are still assessing the damages, we can confirm that five of the eight greenhouses were affected. Luckily, the manufacturing and processing facilities were not affected, so we are able to maintain our regular production.
“Since this is an open investigation, we can’t comment specifically on what caused the fire, but we will be putting our focus toward rebuilding the damaged property in the coming weeks and thank the community for its continued support,” the statement concluded.