A small fire at JBL Professional (Northridge, Calif.) was quickly extinguished Friday night, December 7, 2001, at 9:30 p.m. A spark from routine wood milling was pulled upward into the dust collection system, causing a flash fire. Fire suppression systems in the dust collector and the factory sprinkler system were activated in the JBL Custom Shop, containing the fire. Local L.A. city firefighters arrived within minutes and completed the suppression of the fire and began the mop-up operations.
The approximately 30 employees working in the factory at the time were immediately evacuated safely. According to the Fire Captain, all systems and personnel performed as expected, and the situation was handled well by the JBL staff. A small amount of wood and other materials were damaged, mostly by water from the sprinklers. Factory personnel worked through the weekend to remove water and debris and assess the damage to raw materials and the isolated fire area. The JBL factory will continue normal production on Monday, December 10.
“Our fire detection and containment systems prevented what could have been a much worse situation. By the time the fire department arrived, the fire was isolated,” stated Michael MacDonald, JBL Professional president. “Our normal production schedule should not be impacted, and we do not anticipate any disruption in the delivery schedules of our regular production or Custom Shop projects. I want to thank James Langdon, Robert Holmes, Jeffrey Groenke and the entire JBL operations staff who handled this situation within our prepared emergency plans, ensuring the safety of our employees and the minimization of impact to our business.”