Local News

Fire shuts down milk production on Chapel Hill farm

Posted September 12, 2016 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Investigators on Monday were working to figure out what sparked a fire that damaged a popular dairy farm in Chapel Hill.

According to the Orange County sheriff, flames were reported at Maple View Ice Cream, a dessert parlor and dairy farm located at 6900 Rocky Ridge Road, at about 12:45 p.m. Sunday.

Roger Nutter owns Maple View's milk company. He said the fire spread to the roof of the adjacent creamery, zapping its power and leaving the milk processors sitting idle.

"The cows are still producing milk, but we can't process it and sell it," he said.

Nutter said it could be six weeks until the creamery is running again. He suspects a hot lawnmower parked in the shop started the blaze.

"We've got to build her back and we hope our customers understand and we will get back on the shelves as soon as we can," he said.

The manager of the creamery said she hopes to satisfy customers with her remaining ice cream mix.

"Of course we are not equipped for long-term, but we are going to make the most of it," said Allison Nichols-Clapper. "We are going to keep our customers happy and we are going to keep selling ice cream."

A tanker truck stopped by the farm Monday to pick up what is left of the creamery's milk.

Farm operators say they have no plans to shut down the ice cream shop while the creamery is repaired.