I was in New York City when I got the news. Tami and I were traveling to Hawaii to attend a National Science Foundation event on biomanufacturing.
I think it was American Airlines that decided NYC was on the way to Hawaii from Raleigh, and they are also the ones that caused us to miss our connection. Stuck in Manhattan for a night, we threw a party–cooking up shrimp and grits for seven quickly assembled New Yorkers.
Back home some biodiesel ensconced filter media spontaneously combusted in the tray beneath our filter press. The must have raged in isolation most of the night, melting electrical conduit, and pvc water lines causing a “sprinkler effect.”
McCayne was the first one in that morning, and was greeted by a god awful mess. She called 911, the fire was extinguished, and Piedmont is left with a lot of smoke damage, partial electricity in our wash-dry facility, and what sounds like a massive cleanup effort.
The good news is that no one was hurt. And apparently none of our plumbing was affected. We have a full terminal full of fuel, so we will be shipping product as usual.
Now the work begins. We are ordering tools for cleanup, repairing our overhead crane, bringing in extra help, pulling an electrical permit, and beginning the process of restoring the building to its former glory. Might even add some new plexiglass windows for daylighting, to make it a safer, more pleasant place to work.
Tami shot this photo last night as we walked to dinner in Honolulu. By then everyone at Piedmont was hitting the hay after what had to have been a traumatic day. This morning as I watched the texts and emails and voicemails fly by I couldn’t help but think that everyone seems to be pulling together, and my big regret is that I am not there, in the boat with them…