Injection molding and machine shop Models Inc. is beginning to recover from a Feb. 9 fire that destroyed its Lebanon, Ind., manufacturing facility and offices.
"We already have new computers, and we are moving into an office five minutes away," Chairman Larry McMann said in a telephone interview.
He and his son, Chip McMann, Models' president since January 2000, co-own the business with locations in Lebanon and Rowlett, Texas.
"The fire originated in the attic," said Lebanon Fire Chief Jim Stevenson. "A lot of electric wires and several electric things were in the attic. We feel one of those failed, and that is what started the fire."
Stevenson estimated damages at $2.5 million to $3 million.
The fire alarm signal was received at 9:11 p.m. Flames penetrated the roof before firefighters arrived.
Fire crews knocked down the blaze in two hours. The fire damaged Models' 11,000-square-foot manufacturing space and 1,500-square-foot office space. An adjacent 1,800-square-foot warehouse was not damaged.
Models employs 14 in Lebanon.
Workers were allowed to re-enter the site late Feb. 13 and were evaluating damage to molds, three injection molding presses, three computer numerically controlled mills, 10 other mills, a sinker electric discharge machine and various grinders and drill presses. Molding machines include Toshibas of 90 and 220 tons and a Nissin of 132 tons.
Models evolved from a small Indianapolis machine shop that Harry M. McMann Jr. bought in December 1961. Gradually, the business added capabilities for mold making and prototype injection molding. He died in 1968, and son Larry McMann took active control.
The firm built the Lebanon site and relocated in 1988.
The Texas operation was started in 1973 to follow existing business. Now the Texas facility employs five, operates six injection molding machines of 50-150 tons and has precision machining and mold-making capabilities.