Fire Update

An Update…On The fire At Our Plant!

Many have asked how the clean-up and repairs are going following our Sept. 15 fire and when operations will be back to normal, so we’ve decided to post periodic updates to keep you better informed.

As you may have heard, the fire started in the baler, while an employee was baling waste paper for recycling. While the fire itself was contained in the warehouse, smoke spread throughout the building, depositing dust and ash. Every machine and production area was affected. Those areas and machines must be thoroughly cleaned and machines tested before regular use.

Unfortunately, we can’t say exactly when this will happen, but we have crews working seven days a week to move it along. Our goal is to get this done as quickly as we can, but done right.

We are really thankful to our customers for their understanding and helpfulness as we work to get their products produced at other plants. We appreciate the adjustments many have made to meet the requirements of other plants, and it spurs us further to get our plant running as soon as possible.

So how are we doing? Here’s a brief synopsis by area:

•We have two professional “fire restorer” companies at work, recommended by our insurers – one for machines and one for general cleaning, as well as a contractor.
•Top-down cleaning of the insert-mailing room area is to be completed by mid-week. At that point we will be testing inserting machines and setting up to begin inserting in-house. (We have been doing that at a neighboring business and it will be really helpful to have it in house.)
•With the insert area clean, the cleaning crews will then move to the stitcher and web press areas, later this week.
• There’s a lot of activity in the warehouse. The area of the fire has been cleaned and removal of damaged insulation and siding nearly completed. The construction crew is on hand to put that area back in order. Paper inventory is being stored off-site.
•Our major concern is that equipment be in proper condition and running right. Accordingly, we have scheduled original equipment manufacturer representatives to inspect machines both before and after cleaning to ensure they are in good condition. They will be visiting the plant over the next several days for initial assessment.

We are really thankful that no one was seriously injured in the fire, although four of our employees, who (Got bless them) took it upon themselves to fight the fire, were treated for smoke inhalation.

We thank many others, especially those who have been particularly helpful:
• The Slayton and Lake Wilson for their success in fighting the fire and preventing much more damage; as well as for their help after the fire.
•Law enforcement for traffic control and security
•The Slayton Hospital for care of employees who suffered from smoke inhalation.
•Nearby neighboring businesses for offering help in storage, temporary work areas and other assistance.
•Our employees who worked to control the fire and afterward have worked hard, caring for customer needs, cleaning up and getting operations back to normal.
–Page 1 owners and management