TOWNSEND, Del. (WTXF) - A five-alarm fire has destroyed a popular farmers market in Townsend, Delaware. Founded 43 years ago as a small roadside stand, Willey Farms grew into a thriving community business.
The fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. Monday at Willey Farms on the 4000 block of Dupont Parkway in New Castle County.
The owners of the 60,000 square feet market spoke to the devastation on Facebook: "Willey Farms is gone."
Below is their full message.
"Hi Guys. We're all safe. The firefighters tried to save her. They worked real hard. But Willey Farms is gone. From the deli thru to the greenhouse. Produce. Natural Foods. Home Accents. She's all gone. We don't know where to start really. Kinda numb right now. It will be lots of hard heartbreaking work. But she will be built again. We do know that. Thank you for reaching out to us. Thank you for being our customers and friends for 43 years. Thank you so much. Thank you for your continued prayers and thoughts."
A 6,000 gallon tanker truck, more than 200 firefighters and several outside departments were called to battle the blaze, made more complicated due to the lack of fire hydrants in the rural area.
The building suffered a full roof collapse about 45 minutes into the firefight, forcing crews to battle the blaze from the outside.
There's talk of a re-birth. "It's really sad, but we can do it. We can do it again. Willey Farms will rise again," Gretchen Willey-Gill.
Two firefighters were injured and taken to the hospital.