Local Business Booming a Year After Massive Fire
By Jonquil Newland, Weekend Today Anchor/Reporter
Foundry Pattern Service has served Chattanooga and the Southern United States since 1959. The current president and owner, Bill Smith, took over after his father passed away in 2007.
“We were quite busy, a lot of work,” says Smith.
The company manufactures wood, metal and plastic patterns for big industries like oil and water.
“Business was good,” Smith says.
However, last July around 3:45 a.m. Smith got the call every business owner dreads. His company was burning down.
“At that point I’m thinking it’s a disaster,” says Smith. “The whole roof was caved.”
The electrical fire caused an estimated $600,000 worth of damage. Nearly a year later, all that is left is a big concrete slab.
“I was nervous for everyone,” explains Smith.
Smith’s competing businesses stepped up to help. They provided a facility for his employees to work out of, while the company got back on its feet and Smith looked for a new building.
He found one just a couple blocks away. It was more than 50,000 square feet bigger and more than $200,000 less than what it would’ve cost to rebuild the old facility.
“It’s just amazing, all the people that stepped forward, so thankful for everyone who did what they did,” says Smith.
Six months to the day after the building burned down, Smith and his 11 employees were back to business in their new building. Now they are doing better than ever and they have their community to thank.
“Without your help we probably wouldn’t be here,” says Smith.
The company is looking to hire six more employees as it continues to expand.