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Poinsettias return to Lynde Greenhouse following deliberately-set fire

Poinsettias return to Lynde Greenhouse following arson
Poinsettias return to Lynde Greenhouse following arson 02:33

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. -- Poinsettias add cheer to the holiday season.

"I like the different colors. I think it adds to your décor," said Jeanine Gill, a longtime Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery shopper.

They're often gifted as a sign of goodwill among friends and family.

"Something we all can celebrate as a tradition every year," said Gill.

When fire severely damaged Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery in early October, the business got a goodwill response in a time of need. The flowering plants were rescued and relocated. Less than two months later, they're back and being sold in the garden center.

"They're doing as well as can be expected considering smoke damage, a couple of days without heat and a couple of days without sunlight. And getting relocated by 300 strangers," said Derek Lynde, president of Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery.

As the effort was underway, the fifth-generation owner got difficult news.

"Somebody did this to me. While everybody was here moving poinsettias out was when I found out from the police department and from the fire marshals that it was an active arson investigation that morning. That was one of most traumatic days that I've gone through," said Lynde.

There have still been no arrests, no closure.

Demo work is now underway as plans come together to rebuild. Each step a reminder of what's lost and what Lynde's dad built here.

"He's the one who helped build all these structures when we moved to Maple Grove in 1970. So, it's been kind of emotional watching it all disappear. I'm very anxious to start seeing new buildings go back up," said Lynde. "Instead of a couple pole barn style buildings, it'll be essentially one giant greenhouse."

A greenhouse that will be filled with poinsettias and Easter lilies, something that after 75 years of growing will be missing this spring.

"That without a doubt is the most nostalgic plant for me. All the stories I shared with my grandfather when I was a kid were based on his experiences growing Easter lilies. How times have changed," said Lynde.

Lynde plans to honor his family's legacy with names for the new buildings.

"One on the west side and one on the east side. Considering this was my grandfather's house and this was my dad's house, I'm leaning toward calling it third gen, fourth gen," said Lynde.

Lynde's retail store isn't near where the demo work is happening. It will remain open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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