No one was hurt and the business remains solvent, but that didn't stop fire officials from characterizing the fire that destroyed the 50,000-square-foot XPotential Products Inc. plant Oct. 8 as a ``total loss.''
Owner Jack Lazareck was forced to lay off nearly all 35 employees at the plant as the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company regroups.
The first step, Lazareck said in an Oct. 12 telephone interview, will be to increase production at XPotential's second manufacturing plant in Regina, Saskatchewan, about 300 miles away.
XPotential flow molds composites made primarily of recycled nonmetallic automotive scrap, which is blended with post-consumer plastics to make products like landscaping ties and impact curbs for parking lots.
About 1 million pounds of those products burned for more than 48 hours. The building and nearly all the machinery was destroyed. Officials estimate damage at about C$4 million (US$3.52 million).
Mike Purtill, chief of Springfield Fire and Rescue Services, said fire investigators are leaning toward mechanical or electrical failure. They do not suspect arson.
Lazareck said he wants to rebuild on the charred site in Winnipeg.
``We do want to rebuild and go forward,'' Lazareck said. ``But in terms of making composite material here again, we could be a year away.''