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Sorbello and Sons Farms hopes to rebuild after fire

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Sorbello and Sons Farms hopes to rebuild after fire
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A long-time Onion Production Facility was destroyed by fire, Tuesday. It took nearly 24 hours to get everything under control at Sorbello and Sons Farms in Granby. Hundreds of thousands of onions burned in the fire. But as our Iris St. Meran tells us, the family wants to continue its decades old legacy and pledged to rebuild.

GRANBY, N.Y. -- These onions are now charred remnants of one family's livelihood.
Sorbello and Sons Farms has been a family run business in Granby since the 1940s.

"My father came to this country from Europe and Sicily as a migrant farmer. He worked five or six acres. Since then myself and my sons have built this operation into roughly 600 acres," Sorbello and Sons Farm Treasurer Morris Sorbello reflected.

Tuesday a portion of his family's land went up in flames. Sorbello says it was the three buildings that housed and processed their onion crop: approximately 115,000, 50 pound units of onions.

"It is heartbreaking to see a lot of work; we've done a lot of modernization inside the buildings when they were here," Sorbello explained, "A lot of things, modern technology and so on. It's gone right now. And we'll try to replace it."

Knocking it down took a lot of work, collaboration and hours, almost 24. There were more than 100 firefighters from three counties who assisted. Two challenges were water and the fire's location. Crews had to travel nearly six miles.

Cody Volunteer Fire Department Second Assistant Chief Michael Richards said, "A hydrant can only do so much. With 20 tankers, we ended up utilizing three fill sites. It was a battle."

Although crews worked around the clock to knock down the fire and put out hot spots, officials say that this will smoke for some time because of the wood and the onions.

"With the amount of fire load, I would guess this is probably going to smoke for three days, four days," said Richards.

Although it was tough to watch a piece of his family go up in flames, Sorbello is happy no one was hurt and appreciates the long hours the firefighters put in.
The business which employs about 25 people may be down, but they're not out completely.

There are some onions left that need be sent somewhere to be graded and then shipped. The plan is to rebuild and maintain the family's legacy of serving this community and beyond.

Investigators are still trying to determine a cause. Sorbello says it could it have possibly been electrical. He's working with his insurance to determine the cost of the damages,
but estimates that it's in the millions.

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