Robert Mann fire destroys $2 million in inventory

05/20/2004 12:00:00 AM
Todd Foltz

(May 20) SALINAS, Calif. — A May 19 fire that destroyed about four acres of corrugated containers shouldn’t set Robert Mann Packaging Inc. too far behind, said chief financial officer Mark Comer.

The fire, which raced through the carton yard and destroyed a shipping trailer, caused about $2 million in damages but did not significantly hurt the production facility or the equipment inside, Comer said early May 20. No one was hurt.

“It was a major fire,” Comer said. “But our production equipment is intact, and when we have the power back on we’ll be able to get back in and work.”

By mid-morning May 20, Comer did not know when that would be, however. The fire began the evening before when waxed corrugated cartons somehow caught fire at about 6:30 p.m. and burned at least until daylight. A cause of the fire had yet to be determined.

In the meantime, the packaging company was developing ways to supply its customers.

Robert Mann Packaging has other facilities along California’s central coast, including the company headquarters in nearby Gilroy as well as sites in Santa Maria, Ventura and Oceanside.

“A lot of partner vendors are stepping up to help,” Comer said. “We’re doing our best to cover our customers’ needs.”

The company moved into the new, 150,000-square-foot facility in Salinas’ Firestone Business Park last September as part of an expansion program. The facility includes a three-color box-making machine that scores, cuts and glues produce boxes at a rate of between 5,000 and 8,000 per hour.

General manager Harold Mann said at the time that the machine allows the company to produce an extra 40 to 50 truckloads per week.



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