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Moving on: nursery trying to resume normal operations

Tim LaMorte photo

The Sept. 27 fire cause significant damage at Sprainbrook Nursery.


Sprainbrook Nursery was open for business this past weekend and it is open now, as the staff tries to pick up the pieces and return to business as usual, after a devastating fire damaged its main building during the evening of Sunday, Sept. 27.

Chief Dan Raftery of Greenville Fire Department last week confirmed the cause of the fire is currently under investigation but not deemed suspicious. In an effort to figure out what started the fire, Greenville Fire District Cause and Origin Team and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety conducted a walkthrough, according to the Greenburgh police, aided by a K9 dog trained to alert to possible accelerants. Greenburgh police officers were also at the scene. The premises were closed for business at the time of the fire and there were no reported injuries.

Al Krautter, the nursery’s second-generation owner, told the Inquirer, “We’re lucky that we still have the greenhouses — no damage was done there. We still have all our plant material. We took the fertilizer bay out of one area, and put in a temporary checkout counter, and we are operational. Our phone line is back and we can take credit cards. For now though, we’ll have to see how things turn out with insurance — we’ll still operate the best we can. We have beautiful chrysanthemums, all of our organic supplies, houseplants and vegetable seedlings for people who want fall planting and perennials. We still have a lot to sell. We just have to keep on going. We’ll do the best we can for our customers. We plan to close as usual on Thanksgiving and reopen in spring.”

The Krautters still live on the nursery premises. Their house was not damaged by the fire. Krautter’s parents bought the property and founded the nursery in 1944.

Heide Krautter confirmed that the Krautters first announced they would close the nursery in 2012, after suffering a decrease in sales in recent years. “We had wonderful customers, but just didn’t have enough of them anymore,” she said. “People don’t have as much time anymore and want one-stop shopping at places like Stew Leonard’s or Home Depot.”

They attempted to sell the property as a working nursery, but found no buyers.

Formation Shelbourne Senior Living, LLC is actively pursuing the purchase of the property now and will meet with the Town of Greenburgh’s zoning board later this month to discuss zoning issues, which have been raising questions in recent months. The Edgemont Community Council is appealing a decision from the town’s building inspector that the property needs no variances in order to construct an assisted living facility. 

Sprainbrook Nursery is located at 448 Underhill Road in Edgemont. The nursery will be open seven days a week, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday and from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Sundays, through Nov. 25.

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of The Scarsdale Inquirer. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.


October 9, 2015