The fire that destroyed the Dometic Corp. plant in Juarez, Mexico, late Tuesday (April 7) and three adjoining factories in a 900,000-square-foot complex has threatened the future of 1,000 workers, according to the El Paso (Texas) Times.

The Dometic plant produced components for awnings and air conditioners.

In an e-mail to Dometic customers, Dometic Group President J. Douglas Whyte said he does not have a timeline when the factory will be operatioinal again.

“We are fortunate that Dometic is strategically positioned  with 28 factories throughout the world to ensure that we are not reliant on a single source for our products,” he stated.

“Also, due to the current economic conditions impact the industry, we have under utilization in some of these factories. This provides Dometic with immediately identifiable alternative sources for products currently manufactured in Juarez.”

Whyte does not anticipate any service delivery or disruptions, but said the company is evaluating every customer on a case-by-case basis 

Juarez firefighters battled the fire for more than eight hours Tuesday and contained it about 11 p.m. They worked through the rubble Wednesday to clear hot spots that could ignite small fires, said firefighter Jesus Hernandez.

A city spokesman  said officials were brainstorming to keep workers from the companies employed.

The 40-year-old building, originally built for Zenith,  is across from the Abraham González International Airport, which was closed Tuesday because of the fire’s heavy smoke.

“Our understanding is because building had no sprinkler system, there was no way to fight the fire,” said Mike White, a real estate broker who handled the sale of the building in 2003. Juarez has no fire code requiring sprinkler systems, he said. However, most new developments have sprinkler systems installed by the developer or tenant, he said.