Cleveland Company Owner Plans To Rebuild After Devastating Fire
CLEVELAND, Oklahoma - The owner of a company that makes airplane parts in Cleveland hopes to rebuild after a devastating fire.
The owner of ICES told employees and city officials he plans to rebuild the plant, but the question is timing. He's got to navigate insurance issues and then rebuilding would take at least a year.
The company held an employee meeting at City Hall so the 35 employees could meet with the owner and find out what help might be available.
Cleveland Mayor Brian Torres said the loss of the business is significant for the town.
"Family and friends are the ones who work out there, and in a small town everybody knows everybody and knows who those are affected," he said.
The fire came while a cleaning crew was working during downtime at the factory. A floor buffer sparked a fire that spread throughout the building and destroyed just about everything inside.
It's a total loss, but the company did have insurance. Even with that, demolition and rebuilding is a long process.
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak said, "Our job is not to get in the way of commerce, but we've been asked to make sure those things are being handled efficiently, and I have every confidence that they are."
The owner said many of his employees have a decade or more on the job.
He was pleased that other aerospace companies have stepped in to offer some temporary employment.
ICES employees had nothing but good things to say about the company, though they declined interviews.
The town's mayor said everyone is working together to help.
Torres said, "Trying to figure out a way to get them rebuilt in a timely fashion and find employment for those who lost their jobs."
The paperwork for the insurance has been delayed by the holidays, but the owner hopes now with that behind us, he can get more information about rebuilding, and soon.