Massive fire rips through Hernder Estate Wines in St. Catharines


Four people have suffered minor injuries after a large fire at a winery in Niagara.

Niagara police say the fire broke out at Hernder Estate Winery at around 10:00 p.m. at Eighth Avenue South, east of Seventh Avenue.

Police say all four people were evacuated and one was transported from the scene to a local hospital by Niagara Emergency Medical Services for what is believed to be a minor case of smoke inhalation.

Hernder Estate Wines released a statement on Instagram.

St. Catharines Fire Services Chief Dave Upper told CHCH News that there were wind gusts up to 65-70 km/h that presented challenges.

“[The wind] presented additional challenges to the crews,” Upper said. “We know between the weather, the structure and the water supply challenges we had, that this was going to be a significant event.”

He says seven different municipalities helped and that it took until 2:00 a.m. to get the fire under control.

Crews remained on scene Sunday to put out remaining hot spots. Upper says the banquet hall and wine store were destroyed.

“At the front of the barn they had a wine store and that was the location of the fire origin,” said Upper. “We are thankful that we were able to save the production facility and the warehouse for them.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Upper estimated the damage could be over $3-million.

Many small businesses were also taking part in a market at the winery to sell their goods. ‘The Mom Market’ co-founder said Hernder Estates Wines rented the space to them to help business.

George’s Wood Works was one of the small businesses in the market. The owner says they lost about $10,000 worth of product.

You can donate to their GoFundMe here.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help the vendors who lost their stock. You can make a donation to the market vendors here.

Niagara police say they are maintaining a presence controlling the scene and that members of the public are requested to stay out of the area to minimize traffic congestion.