But the owner of
As several of his 38 employees huddled in small groups, talking in low tones as they stood in puddles of muddy, black water, Hoffman was already looking toward the future, declaring that he would rebuild.
"Yes, this is a setback. And yes this will create havoc for us. But yes, our most valuable asset is our people, and we will rebuild this. We will rebuild. It is going to be just as big," he said.
Just hours before, Hoffman watched firefighters from
"That's the blessing," Hoffman said. "There were no injuries and we saved this building. I was blown away with the professionalism (of the firefighters). I'm very appreciative of the professionalism these people showed."
The fire was called in about
At one point during the fire, crews had to evacuate the structure over fears that it might collapse, according to dispatches.
Another challenge was getting water to the flames.
Firefighters had to wait to use a fire hydrant across the nearby
The railroad company acted promptly when notified about the fire,
"We were alerted at
Another problem occurred when a water main malfunctioned and sufficient water was not available from the hydrant.
Crews set up a station at a nearby pond from which assisting fire stations shuttled water by tankers to the scene until the fire was brought under control and extinguished by
Wednesday morning, a
"Right now it is a little early to tell, but I'm focusing on the middle of the building," Trooper Janssen Herb said.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Herb said the loss was estimated at
The building and 2.41-acre lot are assessed at
"The slowest time for us is
Wednesday's fire was the second at a
On the night of
The company, which makes point-of-sale advertising displays and recently renamed itself to Bench Dogs, was in the process of selling the building to
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