US: Renkus-Heinz was forced to evacuate its factory in Foothill Ranch, California on October 22nd, as the wildfires that have devastated large areas of California came within 230m of the facility. All employees left the building safely and structural damage was averted by fire fighting teams and a sudden change in wind direction. The factory reopened the following day, writes Anthony Lord.
A rapid decision was made by the company to evacuate to protect employees and vital documents as the Orange County Fire Department fought to contain the inferno. Renkus-Heinz VP of operations Rik Kirby said that although the atmosphere had become smoky in the early morning there had not been an undue sense of alarm, but the situation deteriorated rapidly when the fires turned and bore down on the 10,000-population community. “When we saw flames in the distance from the office window we realised things had got pretty bad and we ordered all staff to leave, loaded computers and filing cabinets with design drawings into a truck, and got out,” said Kirby.
He added: “We are deeply grateful to the Orange County Fire Department for their outstanding efforts in containing the fires. We’re well aware that we’ve been very lucky to escape unscathed when so many others have not.”
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