Walburg community rallies around employees out of work following fire

People in the community of Walburg are determined to show that they have a bigger heart than the big fire that hit them earlier this month.

A salvage team was busy Tuesday working at what’s left of the CPI Products facility in Walburg.

Company officials tell FOX 7 that 80% of the 37 employees who worked there are now furloughed because of the fire that happened here. “I just want to step forward and let them know the community supports them,” said Cindy Belk.

Belk’s Family opened a service station in Walburg 93 years ago.

Many of the employees from CPI are regular customers.

“We all have to support each other, and it really does take a hit, any one business, we feel like we’re all family and want to help each other,” said Belk.

That’s why Belk created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the families.

“It’s their pocket but I’m concerned about,” said Belk.

The CPI Products facility caught fire on September 10th. Toxic Black smoke filled the sky as chemicals inside burned. The chemicals were used to form plastic buckets for utility lift trucks.


“Right off the bat people were stepping up and calling Cindy called me when I’m standing here watching the plant burn down, just make sure we’re OK,” said plant General manager Chris Jones

Tuesday, Jones took time out of digging through the structure to express his gratitude to those who put out the fire and to those who are helping now. “They’ve come together to help the employees it means so much to me and it means so much to the employees,” said Jones.

Walburg is a small farming community just north of Georgetown. It’s best known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration. The area is growing but remains very close-knit. FOX 7 Austin was told the goal is to rebuild.

Doing that will take some time, which is why several fundraising cookouts are being planned. “The people of Walburg are all about helping people that need help,” said Dale Cockerell.

Cockerell owns a popular restaurant and Biergarten not far from the plant. He is sad the fire happened but like many here, determined to be part of the recovery. “Every time you turn around something bad is happening and yeah it’s bad for these folks who lost their job, they plan to rebuild I think, but they need some help until that time comes,” said Cockerell.

A sausage cookout is being organized. It may be held around the first weekend of October.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Williamson County Fire Marshal’s Office. FOX 7 Austin was also told a private fire investigator has been hired by the CPI’s insurance company.