Welspun fire sets company back $1.5 million and counting

Welspun fire sets company back $1.5 million and counting

An overnight fire at Welspun Tubular was contained to just one room inside the plant but firefighters say it's probably the most important, and most expensive, room of all.

Update: Welspun says the plant will be open on Monday. Employees should report to work as scheduled unless contacted by their Department. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Welspun Tubular is racing to recover from a small fire that's setting the company back $1.5 million and counting.

"We've got an estimate this morning of a million and a half so far but every day they're out of business I'm sure that's going to be a larger amount," said Captain Randy Hickmon with the Little Rock Fire Department.

The fire was contained to a single room deep within the plant but it's arguably the most important room of all.

"Every computer operated machine in that plant is operated from that room so it's going to be very expensive," said Capt. Hickmon.

It's been a turbulent year for the oil pipe supplier. The company laid off 200 workers in December after President Obama postponed a decision on the controversial Keystone Oil Pipeline. Then, just months later, Welspun announced an expansion plan to add 200 jobs as the President fast-tracked a portion of the project. Welspun is slated to supply hundreds of miles of pipeline for the project so there's a lot riding on this company.

"A lot of breaker panels and a lot of computer equipment - it's astronomical what was in that room," said Hickmon.

Welspun's President Dave Delie tells Fox16 he doesn't know how long it will take to replace the broken equipment and clean the smoke damage off of the thousands of pipes inside the building but parts have been ordered and clean-up crews have already started the extensive job.

"If they have crews come in there with 30-40 people and have all the equipment, they can dismantle that thing and put it back together in days," said Hickmon.

Even with the clean-up process well underway, Welspun's president says they absolutely don't have time for a setback of this magnitude.

Fire inspectors will be back out to the plant Monday to try to pin point exactly how this fire started and to help the company avoid another one from happening.

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus