Last month, two large fires caused resident evacuations and closed local schools. Each fire started at local factories, one an oil refinery and the other a mulch producer. The factory fires were both eventually contained with minimal damage to nearby homes and businesses. The scare left local owners wondering how they could protect their property and recover damages from destruction caused by a fire.
Tens of thousands of residents in Superior, Wisconsin had to be evacuated last Thursday following an explosion at Husky Energy’s refinery. The initial fire caused plumes of black smoke to take over the city, home to approximately 27,000 people. Shortly after the first fire, a second fire occurred when a storage tank was punctured. Ten people were sent to the hospital with resulting injuries. Residents were encouraged to return back to their homes the following day.
Husky Energy, a Canadian-based energy company operating in Canada, United States, and Asia Pacific, produces asphalt, gasoline, and diesel at the refinery. They produce up to 38,000 barrels of oil a day. Investigations are underway to find the cause of the explosion.
Earlier in the month a mulch fire occurred at the Fibertech (a producer of mulch and wooden pallets) plant in Mitchell, Indiana. Residents were told to stay inside as the fire continued into the next day. Indiana Air National Guard was called in to distribute water drops but stopped after high winds made it difficult to douse the flames. The fire continued into the next day and residents in the nearby area were evacuated. Dozens of people were treated for smoke-related issues.
Fires can spread quickly and cause great damage. That is evident in the wildfires that disrupted California last year. Residents and businesses in California are still recovering from the $3.3 billion worth of fire and smoke damage that was brought on by the wildfires.
Whether the fire starts on or near a property, the costs associated can threaten a business. Aside from property damage, businesses can face a loss of income, potential hazardous material cleanup, as well physical and emotional effects on employees. It is important to understand what different insurance policies can mean for the recovery of your business in the event a catastrophe, such as a fire, should occur.