Earl and I stopped by his office today to pick up his laptop, as he is headed out of town tomorrow morning and wanted to avoid a trip to the office on his way out. When we arrived, we noticed there was quite a bit of smoke behind the plant. So we investigated and found the heat treat chamber, which heat treats the pallets his manufacturing plant makes, was on fire.
We pulled around out front of the building and got inside. Earl then when into action. He pulled the fire alarm, just in case someone was in the building even though no one should have been. This also notified the alarm monitoring company. He then went to his office and dialed 911 and calmly explained the situation. We then went into the plant and assessed the situation. There was smoke pouring out of places of the chamber that should be emiting smoke, so Earl cut the power to the unit then went inside to disconnect the gas line that fires up the furnaces. By then, the firefighters arrived and put out the fire.
A fire at any manufacturing facility, let alone a wood-based manufacturing plant, is a dangerous and scary thing. I am very impressed by the calm, cool, collected manner in which Earl dealt with the situation. I would have never thought to pull the local alarm, I would have skipped that step. I also very impressed by the Utica Fire Department. It was a small fire. But they handled it very well and very thoroughly. Gage and Desoto would be very proud.
So Earl’s team will do some investigating tomorrow to find out what happened. What systems failed and what things worked well. They’re all very thorough like that. And the chamber wasn’t a loss, a little refurb and it’ll be up and running.