A thank-you bouquet might be on the way to four area fire departments and more than 60 firefighters who knocked down a raging fire before it reached Corso Garden Center's nursery and retail center.
Firefighters from Perkins, Sandusky, Huron and Margaretta battled the early morning blaze.
The potting area and storage facility for the soil/fertilizer mixture are a total loss, but the retail center and nursery were spared.
Firefighters can't determine what caused the inferno yet, but Perkins Assistant Chief Bill Hodges said the fire was contained because of cooperation and coordination with area fire departments, Perkins police and Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The state fire marshal and two local investigators spent Thursday combing through the structural remains of the two buildings in search of a cause. At this time they haven't released any findings, Hodges said.
The Corsos didn't let a fire deter their business. A farmer on East Perkins Avenue called in the blaze, which was already shooting through the glass tiles of the roof at 5:58 a.m. Smoke continued to pour from the roof of the greenhouse as small flames flickered along the edge of the building until after 7:30 a.m.
At about 8 a.m. Hodges said the fire was under control and contained to the main storage house.
A garden center supervisor pulled in at about the same time, shortly after hearing a small explosion. Firefighters later determined it was a propane tank on a piece of equipment that had blown.
No one was injured.
Initial damage estimates are between $400,000 and $500,000.
U.S. 250 was closed during the blaze because of smoke and to allow emergency personnel to contain the flames. The road reopened by 10 a.m., a Perkins police dispatcher said.