ELKHART, IND. — Fabwel Plastics will not rebuild its Elkhart plant that was destroyed in a March fire. The unit of Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning decided to close the operation, which is Fabwel's only manufacturing facility.
Fabwel thermoformed and injection molded parts for helm tops and live wells for marine industry customers.
Investigators believe the fire started in a women's restroom. Fabwel President Bud Stout said no employees were injured.
The 45,000-square-foot plant suffered $5 million in damages, including the loss of nine thermoformers and other equipment.
``We couldn't revive the business,'' Stout said by telephone. ``The fire completely destroyed everything and in order to help meet our customers' needs we referred them to other companies in the Elkhart area.''
Fabwel's 65 employees received assistance in finding new positions within Owens Corning and also at other thermoforming companies, Stout said.
Fabwel had sales of $6 million for 1997 and ranked 103rd in Plastics News' recent ranking of North American thermoformers, with relevant sales of $4.7 million.