CHARLTON (CBS) – An historic winery in central Massachusetts was destroyed in a huge fire late Sunday night.
The Charlton Orchards Farm & Winery on Old Worcester Road was completely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just after 10:30 p.m.
Owner Nathan Benjamin recalled looking out the window of his home to see the blaze.
“I watched it go from room to room I watched it go through the storage and I listened to the glass bursting,” Benjamin told WBZ-TV. “I can tell you it’s like losing a friend.”
Twelve communities responded but firefighters had a struggle because there was no water supply at the top of the hill where the distillery was located.
“There was a lot of alcohol in the wine itself and they utilize a lot of fertilizer as well and they use different things to process so there’s a lot of cutting torches and welding and a lot of metal. There’s a lot of hazards through the whole entire area,” Charlton Fire Chief Charles Cloutier, Jr. told reporters.
Thousands of gallons of wine were destroyed, in addition to kegs, casks and wine-making equipment. Only 14 bottles of wine remained.
“I saw a reflection of orange on my walls,” Nathan’s daughter, Sara Benjamin, said. “It’s very disappointing because he won all the medals and everything is just gone.”
No one was hurt and no one was inside the building at the time of the fire.
Officials say it may take days to determine the cause.
According to its website, the historic property was granted to Obadiah McIntyre by King George of England back in 1733.