Oakstone Winery in Fair Play was destroyed in a fire early in the morning of July 7.
The fire was reported at 4:05 a.m. and fire crews were on scene at 4:19 a.m., said Pioneer Fire Protection District Chief Robert Gill, who also acted as the incident commander.
“When we arrived, the facility was 75 to 80 percent already involved,” he said. “So much was already on fire. We took a defensive (stance) to keep it confined.” There was no other exposure, he said, and no wildland caught fire.
The fire, which began on the south end of the facility and worked its way north, took between 20,000 and 25,000 gallons of water to put out, mostly shuttled in from a nearby mobile home park, Gill said.
By 5:57 a.m., the fire was out and an “extensive” mop-up phase began, Gill said. The winery had no smoke or heat detectors and had no sprinkler system. At 11:10 a.m., the operation was complete, he said.
“It was a multi-million dollar loss,” Gill said. “Luckily, it’s covered by insurance.” He said that John and Susan Smith, who have owned the winery since 1996 and opened it for tasting in 1997, are “going to rebuild” what they have lost.
El Dorado County Fire, Diamond Springs Fire, Amador Fire and Cal Fire also responded. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.