CHELAN, Wash. – A fire Saturday afternoon destroyed a winery on the north shore of Lake Chelan. A runaway tractor was to blame.
According to the Wenatchee World newspaper, Four Lakes Chelan‘s warehouse was consumed in flames. The tractor lawnmower rolled off the top of a bluff and down a hill. The operator was thrown off halfway down the hill, according to the World. He suffered bruises and cuts and spent the night at Lake Chelan Community Hospital.
The accident caused a fire that destroyed the warehouse and a nearby building, as well as about 8 acres of brush near the intersection of Highways 97A and 97, according to the World. Highway 97A was closed for about four hours because of the smoke.
Because there are no fire hydrants in the area, firefighters had to rely on water tenders, and when they ran out of water, the blaze spread.
A 250-gallon propane tank on the property was threatened by the flames but did not ignite.
The winery tasting room is at another location and was unaffected. However, the winery noted on its website that it will be unable to ship wines for “a few months.”