GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A warehouse fire damaged injection molding tools stored in the building by MacDonald's Industrial Plastics of Grand Rapids. The Feb. 21 fire, caused by a frayed extension cord, damaged about 10 percent of the 1.2 million-square-foot public warehouse in Grand Rapids, according to Homer Hatfield, corporate controller at MacDonald's Industrial Plastics.
Firefighters estimated the total damage at $800,000, but Mac-Donald's loss still is being determined, he said. Delta Properties owns the warehouse.
Though none of MacDonald's high-volume tools were in storage, the company was warehousing some 400 dies and molds, extra plating equipment and tools used once every three to six months.
Hoses and motors were burned out of the die-cast machines and will have to be replaced and requalified, Hatfield said. Also, some of the tools became encapsulated in tar that melted from the burning roof.
``However, most of the molds can be refurbished,'' Hatfield said.
In the process of extinguishing the blaze, water got into the cavities of the molds.
``We'll have to check for rust in the cavities and polish the molds before we can use them again,'' Hatfield said.
By moving the tools into undamaged parts of the warehouse as well as into their tool and die shop, MacDonald's has had no business interruptions.
MacDonald's also has hired apprentices to inspect the tools in order to keep production going.
Hatfield said they will be better prepared in the future.
``When we put tools in a warehouse, they will be well-greased and we'll put a cover over them to protect them from heat elements,'' he said.
MacDonald's Industrial Plas-tics, which injection molds parts for the plumbing and automotive markets among others, is owned by MacDonald Enterprises of Spencerville, Ohio.