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Industry supplier Iota Engineering will continue paying its work force and keep production running on a limited basis following a fire last weekend that destroyed the Tucson, Ariz., company’s manufacturing building.
According to a report in the Arizona Daily Star, Iota owner Stephen Snell said the 200 production employees will remain on the company’s payroll.
“I told them there would be no layoffs,” he said. “Everyone will continue to get their paycheck.”
Iota manufactures emergency-lighting equipment, auxiliary battery packs, battery chargers and power supplies for recreational vehicles, Shell said. The company sells the products nationwide.
It took about 60 firefighters and 21 firetrucks to contain the three-alarm blaze at Iota early Saturday (July 16) morning. Shell said firefighters spent 24 hours extinguishing hot spots and sifting through debris in the 20,000-square-foot building.
The Tucson Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the fire, Capt. Paul McDonough said Tuesday. The building was empty during the fire and no one was hurt.
Some employees will be able to keep working in makeshift production lines, set up Monday and Tuesday in Iota’s remaining building. Others will come back to work when Iota finds a temporary place to rent, Shell said.
Before the fire, the company was planning to add a 25,000-square-foot building to the two structures Iota already had in place, Shell said. Now they hope to build two 25,000-square-foot facilities.
Employees worked from cell phones in the company’s remaining building Monday and Tuesday, reordering equipment and trying to restore the business to its normal operational level.
The fire took about 10% of the company’s inventory, Shell said. The rest was in Iota’s other building or in off-site storage.