FIRE at the Nitram Charcoal Facility
Early Sunday morning, around 3am on June 12, Peter and his wife, Fern, awoke to the sound of large trucks outside their home.That was what they heard, but what they saw was a bright orange glow on their bedroom wall. Peter makes Nitram in the factory that was built on his property, and as he looked out his bedroom window he saw that the building was engulfed in flames. The fire was huge. As it should be because this was the Nitram Charcoal manufacturing facility. With all the wood and charcoal inside the building, the conflagration was spectacular! The fire department had only just arrived. Apparently, a driver on the nearby highway saw the flames in the distance and had called 911.
On Monday, Jerzy, Patricia and their rat terrier, Ollie, drove up to assess the damage. As these picture show, the devastation to the Nitram facility was total and complete.
No one was hurt, and that is always the most important thing. The Mennonites are a practical people. They had already formed a new building committee. There were plenty of volunteers ready to rebuild. It has now been a week, and we have determined that it will take a lot to get us going again. The oven, the only one of its kind in the world, and the equipment were specifically designed to make Nitram. An off the shelf solution will not fix this. The next batch of Nitram will not be made for at least a year. We have some inventory but it is going very fast. ~ Jerzy Niedojadlo