Laurysen Kitchens Fire 1987

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Laurysen Kitchens Fire 1987
Clipping from Sarah More and an unidentifed donor
$5M factory fire may leave 65 out of work —-A fire Saturday destroyed a West Carleton kitchen factory, causing an estimated $5 million in damage and leaving a cloud of uncertainty oyer the future of its 65 employees. The blaze at Laurysen Kitchens on Carp Road, north of Hwy. 417, started at 10 a.m. Within minutes, the flames engulfed the 4,050-square-metre building where kitchen cabinets, cupboards and shelves were custom-built and stored. “Seventeen years of hard work, all lost in 20 minutes,” said business owner John Laurysen.

A native of Holland who emigrated to Canada in 1960, Laurysen said he was to meet his employees today to discuss plans for the family business he has operated since 1970. He said he did not know if any workers would lose their jobs. Firefighters from West Carleton, Almonte, Beckwith and Goulbourn townships worked throughout the night Saturday to prevent the smouldering debris from igniting and spreading to the Laurysens’ nearby home and warehouse. The warehouse contained such flammable’ materials as varnish and paint thinner. The company’s showroom, located in the owner’s house, was not damaged. The cause of the fire is not known. Ontario fire investigator Marcel Lalonde continued his investigation today, said Terry Kelly, chief of the West Carleton fire department.

Lalonde interviewed witnesses this morning and he and Kelly were to begin examining the debris in detail this afternoon. Kelly said there is no indication how long it will take to determine a cause. Laurysen said he lost about $5 million worth of equipment and supplies in the fire, which left nothing but heaps of twisted, charred debris in its wake. Chemical products were not stored at the plant and smoking was prohibited inside the building, said Laurysen. One employee was inside the building when the fire started and escaped without injuries. About 15 shift workers were outside on their break when the blaze broke. Laurysen said he hopes to rebuild.

He said a nearby lumber company has al- Wayne Hlebert, Citizen Firefighters worked throughout the night Saturday at Laurysen Kitchens ready offered an empty warehouse as a temporary place to house the factory. If all goes well, he said, he would like to. start re-establishing the business in the donated building within a week, then rebuild the the factory during the next month. “But most of the equipment came from Europe,” he added. “Replacing that will be the hardest part.” “We’ve looked after our customers for the past 17 years. Now I hope our customers will look after us and wait until we rebuild.” , Bruno Joppen, a cabinet-maker who has been working at factory for the past 10 years, said the employees will have a better idea of what their future holds after today’s meeting. “I’m not really worried, but I am concerned,” he said. “You can go on unemployment insurance and look for something else, but I’d rather go back to Laurysen’s because he is good to his employees.” Joppen, 58, said it won’t be easy whatever happens, but he hopes the owner will decide to rebuild. “It’s our livelihood and I hope he is going to get back on his feet,” he said. “The problem is the ongoing contracts: he is going to lose them.”

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada10 Aug 1987, Mon  •  Page 6

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
15 Aug 1987, Sat  •  Page 87
CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Aug 1994, Mon  •  Page 17

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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