From the smoke, and then the ashes, rises a new beginning.
It was August when part of the Spartan Oil Cedar Street distribution facility went up in a huge, oil-fueled fire. It destroyed 3 buildings and 6 tanks full of the motor oil they distribute.
Spartan Oil execs now say it was an electrical spark that started it, and, they say, a strange kind of fortune that let it burn the major buildings here.
"That's the silver lining on the cloud...that now we're really gonna be state of the art for our type of business," explains Dave Metevier, V.P. of Sales.
"We were fuctioning in 3 buildings. We weren't that efficient. This new facility is all under one roof," adds Pat Campbell, V.P. of Operations.
Friday marks the end of the first 6 weeks of construction on a new 8,000 square foot building. It will cost $1.1 million to build, plus nearly a million more to fill inside.
With winter, construction has been slow. They don't expect full operation until September, but for now--in fact, since the fire last summer--they are running business as usual, continuing the move product in a more manual and inefficient way until they're able to kick off their state of the art process, and expand the business around the building.
"We're looking into some acquisitions right now, and if those come about, we'll be in a good position to accomodate the growth," says Campbell.
Campbell also says the new building will have a better fire suppression system than the old one. He stresses the fire was well-contained considering the circumstances, but internal sprinklers and a strong fire detection system will be part of the construction.