TAYLOR, Texas - A restoration crew was setting up on Christmas Eve morning around the Durcon industrial plant in Taylor. Work can not start until the fire marshal completes his investigation and determines if the building is safe to re-enter. Company vice president Kent Cook anticipates that call to be made on Thursday.
“An event like this is something you never want to see happen, but in this case first of all everyone is safe there was no one here when it happened it so we were grateful for that,” said Cook.
The fire that broke out at the plant Saturday afternoon burned through the night and into Sunday morning. Firefighters from Taylor, Hutto, Pflugerville and Round Rock responded to the scene. The combined effort kept the flames contained to the roofline and away from machinery on the floor. It's unclear if any of the equipment sustained water damage. Cook spent Tuesday talking to employees, who drove back to the plant, reassuring them they still had a job.
“We will be back as quick as we can, for those families and for this city that’s a priority,” said Cook.
During the down time, Cook said employees will still be paid.
“We will take care of the families. We've told him their paychecks will come. We ran payroll yesterday. We'll run it again for the week. All our hourly employees are covered. They’ll remain with their benefits the way it was before. In the interim until we are up and running again, and we have a space for them to work, we will take care of them,” said Cook.
The company uses epoxy resin to make durable surfaces for laboratories and schools. In 2013 it was recognized as a finalist for the employer of the year in the state of Texas. With more than 300 jobs, Durcon is an important piece in Taylor’s economic engine. It’s a top-five employer in this community. For local business owners news that those paychecks stay here is certainly good news.”
“They do a great job supporting the community some of the charity givings and stuff,” said Ed Hile.
Hike and his wife Bette own a small gift shop downtown. They’re among those who have spent the past several years remodeling and revitalizing Taylor’s Main Street. Losing Durcon would have been a terrible way to start the new year.
“Everybody will be glad to hear the good news, that it wasn’t as serious as it looked on the news the other day,” said Hile.
The warehouse, on the other side of the parking lot was not damaged by the fire . Workers are being told after the holiday break they will start shipping out the finished products inside.
Next week the plan is to have everyone back on site to help start up a scale back assembly line. That will be done in a section of the plant that has minimal damage. But The plan hinges on the investigation and whether or not the equipment inside the plant is operational.