Fire destroyed the 20,000-square-foot plant of thermoformer Pacific Plastics Design Inc. in Glendale, Calif., causing an estimated $2.5 million in damage and prompting an official investigation. ``We lean toward reopening, but nothing is salvageable,'' said Don Asenbauer, owner and president.
Asenbauer said the most critical loss was the molds. They number in the thousands and have been accumulated since he founded the business in 1971.
Pacific Plastics Design's 26 employees used thin-gauge, heavy-gauge and pressure-forming processes to thermoform cosmetic displays and industrial products. The company ranked 148th in Plastics News' Feb. 19 listing of North American thermoformers with sales of $1.13 million for the year ending Sept. 30. Previous-year sales were $970,000.
The blaze destroyed seven manufacturing lines. Equipment included a 4-by-6-foot three-station rotary press, a 7-by-15-foot single-station press, two 3-by-4-foot single-station Comet Industries Inc.'s Star machines, a 24-by-32-inch single-station machine, two 24-by-36-inch machines, plus die-cutting and machine shop equipment and tools.
The fire was reported about 11:12 p.m. Aug. 3 and was extinguished about 3:52 a.m. Aug. 4, re-igniting briefly during the day. The heat melted steel girders and left a coating of plastic production materials on the concrete floor. No injuries were reported.
Glendale Fire Marshal Dave Starr said the fire started in combustible storage materials at the rear of the plant near a railroad line. He considered the cause suspicious and was investigating.