Fire breaks out at Yacht Club Trailers

Firefighters from several area towns aided the Humboldt Fire Department late Monday morning and Monday afternoon following a fire call to Yacht Club Trailers, 1419 11th St. N. The fire started in the paint coating area of the local manufacturer. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

The Humboldt Fire Department is fighting a four-alarm fire that is was called to around 11:45 a.m. this morning at Yacht Club Trailers located at 1419 11th St. N. in Humboldt.
Firefighters are still on the scene at this hour battling the blaze.
“The (paint) system blew a main breaker and there was smoke exiting the roof of the building when we arrived,” Humboldt Fire Chief Jim Gronbach said.
“There was a lot of fire and heat build-up without a lot of door openings inside,” he said.
At 1:20 p.m., Gronbach reported that the fire was about 60 percent contained.
“We are trying to break in and punch holes and give us more ventilation to get heat and smoke exiting the building,” Gronbach said.
Manpower and equipment from at least seven area fire departments were called in with more arriving.
“We are in need of water and air packs,” the Humboldt chief said.
Humboldt County Emergency Medical Services and Humboldt County Emergency Management were handing out bottled water and wet towels to keep firefighters cool and hydrated.
“There were a few guys that we needed checked out on the scene to make sure they were OK,” the chief said.
Yacht Club human resources director Julie Day explained what happened late Monday morning.
“Our powder paint system is in the northeast corner of the building. Our supervisor could smell smoke and he went inside the bake oven. We have three heaters and the first one was on fire.
“He called for evacuation and all our employees did what they were trained to do,” Day said.
“They got the gas shut off quickly and all 80 employees were able to exit the building without incident,” Day said.
“Power paint is every combustible, so I’m glad there haven’t been any explosions,” Day said.
She explained that fabrication occurs in the front of the building, behind the administrative offices, with welding in the middle portion and coating at the northeast end. Assembly occurs on the south side of the building, running from north to south.
Yacht Club was founded in 1976 and manufactures Yacht Club boat, pontoon and personal watercraft trailers as well as Sport Club and Eagle Custom Boat Trailers.
Owner Rod Harklau was out of state and sales manager Jeff Harklau was on a trailer delivery at the time the fire broke out. He arrived on the scene early in the afternoon. Check this website for more details and see this week's Humboldt Independent newspaper for complete coverage.

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