Paragould business rebuilds after devastating fire

Business rebuilds after devastating fire

PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - It’s been 90 days since a Paragould business caught fire, displacing workers, and bringing operations to a halt.

Now, the business is slowly getting back on its feet and the owner is ready to be back at 100% operation.

KNL Holdings caught fire Aug. 19. Owner Fred Workman said inspectors told him temperatures reached 1,900 degrees where the fire started.

Tuesday’s tour of the facility was nearly unrecognizable compared to Region 8’s first coverage of the damage.
Tuesday’s tour of the facility was nearly unrecognizable compared to Region 8’s first coverage of the damage. (Source: KAIT-TV)

Two exploding lithium batteries ignited the fire, according to investigators.

The batteries powered handheld electric drills that workers left charging over a weekend.

The roof is steadily being replaced, walls and insulation and electrical will be brand new for most of the facility.
The roof is steadily being replaced, walls and insulation and electrical will be brand new for most of the facility. (Source: KAIT-TV)

The roof is now being replaced and walls, insulation, and the electrical will be brand new for most of the facility.

Workman said he’s glad no one was injured during the fire but advises others to learn from his business’s loss.

“Watch places where you have a hazard for potential fires,” Workman says. “That’s all you can really do because you can’t really change anything if you’re going to go with a plugin, rechargeable battery. How are you going to know it’s going to blow up and set a fire?”

KNL Holdings is currently at about 75% production. Workman hopes to be back to full operation in June 2020.

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