Family business continues despite loss

The morning after fire consumed the Valley View Nursery farmhouse, the family business was already up and running as owners John and Caroline Stranberg began to sift through the remains of their home.

Customers visited the Ashland nursery location on Tuesday, even as firefighters lingered, watching for hotspots in the charred house that doubled as office space for the nursery.

"We're just trying to pick up the pieces, and we're very thankful that they're OK," said Brooke Stranberg, the daughter-in-law of John and Caroline.

Fire investigators were still searching for the cause of the fire this morning, according to Fire Chief Dan Marshall. The fire likely started in the carport area, he said, and he anticipated a cause would be determined later this afternoon.

Paper records and the computer server that linked the Ashland and Medford stores was destroyed in Tuesday's blaze, but the business that just celebrated its 30-year anniversary simply switched to handwritten receipts and kept going.

"While we lost a lot of stuff, we're still in business and we're still running and able to recover a lot of things," Brooke Stranberg said this morning. "It's going to take months before we get it all back, but we will be functional hopefully by the end of the day."

The couple stayed with friends Tuesday night and will likely stay in the trailer on site at the Ashland nursery while their belongings are salvaged.

"We've been lucky all our lives," said John Stranberg. "We've never had anything like this before."

"That was an amazing story," Marshall said. "We obviously don't like to have fire loss, but they feel very fortunate to be able to escape the fire."

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 227 or .

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