EDGEWATER, Fla. — The Everglades Boats factory was hit by a fire at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, believed to have started when an overhead factory light burst and showered sparks over a curtain separating work sections, according to a release from Everglades Boats.
“The fire sprinkler system alerted Everglades’ security monitoring service personnel who made the first call to local fire authorities,” Fire Marshal Jeff Lariscy said in the release. “The sprinkler system contained the fire exactly as it was designed prior to arrival of fire fighters who then extinguished the blaze at its source.”
The fire damaged materials, tools and facilities in the in the R&D portion of the Everglades manufacturing plant but will not hinder current production, the company reported.
“We were blessed to have such a quick response from the local authorities and based on our initial visual inspections, our current production rate will continue unhindered,” Everglades President Stephen Dougherty said in the release.
Official damage estimates will not be available until insurance and fire officials finish with reviews of the property. No employees were in the building at the time of the fire.
The fire affected about 20,000-square feet of the business’s 100,000-square foot facility, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.
For 2010, Everglades reported that it has increased production rates on its main manufacturing lines and has increased the plant and office workforce to a total of 60 employees. The company is also actively searching for qualified lamination, assembly and finishing personnel to support the anticipated increase in demand.
“Our current field inventories are at their lowest levels in seven years,” Dougherty stated. “The market demands are far exceeding our ability to manufacture boats at this time, but we are thankful to have weathered the storm and look forward to the challenges ahead.”