Fire destroys longtime Idalou business - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/12/09

Fire destroys longtime Idalou business

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The farm equipment manufacturer is one of the largest employers in Idalou.   Even though the overnight fire completely destroyed the main warehouse of this longtime family business, it's been a normal workday at the Lee Company.

It was early Thursday morning when Idalou Fire Firefighters got the call. "It took us about three minutes to get here but it was already burning big time," said Idalou Fire Chief Ed Wilbanks.   

The West Texas Lee Company was completely engulfed in flames and it wasn't until 3:00 Thursday afternoon that all the hot spots were finally put out.

Owner Sonny Lee says he has no idea why this happened.  "I'm really just like anyone else I have no idea what would have started it I've heard things like electrical. I really just have no idea what would have done it I really don't even know for sure what area it started in," said Lee.   

Wilbanks called the State Fire Marshal's Office to come investigate. "The only suspicions that I have is that it was completely engulfed when I got a call and that's the reason I called the Fire Marshal's Office," said Wilbanks.   

Lee says two of their big projects that cost $80,000 to $90,000 each were in the warehouse and they also lost more than $300,000 worth of inventory. Only their main computer server was able to be salvaged.

Workers continued with what they could on Thursday in other buildings.  "We had a meeting this morning with all the employees and we just put a plan together, we had a prayer and when that was over, we marched over there and looked at it, let everybody talk about it for a little bit, and then I said alright its time let's go back to work there's nothing we can do but just deal with it," said Lee.

The Lee company has been in Idalou since 1949.

2/12/09
Overnight fire destroys Idalou business
It took crews from Idalou and New Deal almost two hours to put out the blaze.

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