A Saturday morning fire at Mulhall's Nursery brought the community together this Christmas in an unexpected way.
“It was pretty devastating, you know, to the people who work here, and everything, because we all care so much about the store…but now that we’re starting to get things cleaned up and things are looking so much better, it’s a big relief to all of us,” said operations manager Bob Ewing.
OFD says that a passerby called in a fire at Mulhall’s around 3:15am. The fire was being fed by a gas line, and MUD was called in to shut it off.
Spokesman Mick Mulhall says that by the time he arrived at 3:45, the fire was already under control.
“It’s definitely a big deal, but no one got hurt and none of our plant greenhouses got damaged, and for that we’re grateful, it could be a lot, lot worse than it is,” said Mick.
For the rest of the morning, Mick’s phone didn’t stop ringing, but this time with good news.
“You know, it’s Christmas Eve, and we had dozens of people calling to see if they could help us today. I still have people texting me to see if they can come in and is there anything we can do,” said Mick.
Even staff members who weren’t scheduled or that had been laid off for the season the day before, volunteered to come help out.
“It’s just been phenomenal. Really a team effort as it always is here at the store,” said Ewing.
Ewing and his crew brushed away soot and water and put tarps up around the damaged portions of the plaza.
OFD’s report says that the fire did approximately $60,000 in damage.
“It’s definitely a big number to us, but with all the support we’ve gotten from the community, from the people who work here, it seems very manageable, and we really think that by next week, we’ll be able to start thinking of this as behind us,” said Mick.
Mick said that the store will be ready for its usual after-Christmas clearances, thanks to a hard-working staff. He asked that anyone who wanted to help out direct their support to the Omaha Fire Department.
“This is like literally 30-40 people that woke up in the middle of the night to fight a fire here at our place. Any appreciation we can show to them would mean a lot to us as a company,” said Mick.\
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. No one was hurt.