The building at the Westport Winery used for the production of spirits, was destroyed by fire Saturday night. There were no injuries and the Roberts family, which owns the winery and lives on the property, says it plans to rebuild the distillery.
The winery on Highway 105 between Aberdeen and Westport, has grown to include a popular restaurant, sprawling landscaped grounds and as of recently, a mermaid themed museum. The family said the fire won’t affect its other businesses. The Ocean’s Daughter distillery made gin, whiskey, vodka, rum and other types of spirits.
In a release, the Roberts family said they were alerted to the fire by drivers on the highway just before 11 p.m. One of the people who called 911 was a winery employee passing by on her way home from an evening with friends. She pounded on winery co-owner Carrie Roberts’ door to notify her. Another good Samaritan pulled in to the winery’s commercial entrance and began fighting the fire with a garden hose. He prevented the adjacent winery production building and the company’s harvest cargo trailer from catching fire.
South Beach Regional Fire District responded and fought the fire for several hours. The pole building was completely destroyed. It contained the business’s still, all their warehoused spirits, shipping supplies, tools, and thousands of empty wine bottles staged in preparation for an upcoming bottling.
“It was shocking to run out of our house to see a large part of our business going up in flames,” said Blain Roberts. “We do not know the cause of the fire. At the time, we were distilling water.”
There were no people in the building at the time of the fire and no one was injured.
The family used the still to produce hand sanitizer during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assistant Fire Chief Daryl Brown said that the cause of the incident is under investigation, noting that the family said they thought it may have started with some overheating equipment in their distillery process. Sixteen firefighters responded in total from the South Beach Regional Fire Authority along with water tenders from Grays Harbor Fire District #2 in Central Park.
“We are so grateful to Scott, the deckhand from the charter boat Ranger, who was in our yard fighting the fire,” said Kim Roberts. “We are especially appreciative to the professional and volunteer firefighters who responded to our call. They were with us all night.”
Westport Winery’s tasting room, which includes the Sea Glass Grill and the Ocean’s Daughter Distillery tasting room was never in danger. The nonprofit International Mermaid Museum was also spared from the fire. These two enterprises will be open offering regular service daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m..
The family said it is grateful for the many well wishes and prayers extended to them through the night. The building was insured, and they plan to rebuild. There will be a temporary pause in spirit production until they can purchase and install another still in a new building. There is no pause in wine production.