During the early morning hours of Thursday, May 23, fire broke out in the rear portion of the Murphy Bros. Blaine office building. Responding Blaine fire crews arrived just as the rear portion of the roof caved in. It appears that the fire started in the portion of the building that houses the Murphy Bros. Paint & Fine Finishing Division.
"Although the fire doors did their job and contained the blaze to the rear quarter of the building, smoke and soot damage was pervasive," said John Murphy, owner Murphy Bros.
TV news coverage on KARE 11 had it mostly right, except for what we actually do as a company.
According to the company's historical timeline, Murphy Bros. moved into the building in 1997, at a key turning point in the growth and direction of the company. Ironically, this fire happened 1 year to the day the company celebrated it's 35th year in business last year.
Another historical turning point? According to John Murphy, "Yes. This event is full of opportunity to become leaner, stronger and better. That's how I want us all to look at it."
While communications will be disrupted for a few days, the actual work of meeting with clients and remodeling homes will continue. "It may be a huge disruption and inconvenience for us internally, but we are not going to let this become either one for our clients," said Murphy during a company meeting Friday, May 24, held at the MetroNorth Chamber offices just a couple of blocks away.
"I don't anticipate any significant delays in current projects," says John Murphy, now in his 36-year as the proprietor along with his wife Sherry, of this highly successful and growing business. The real issue for us is finding office temporary space while we rebuild and replacing much of our sales and marketing materials," said Murphy.
Murphy Bros. does have an additional office in Chanhassen, which was opened up just a few years ago and has its own "opportunity story" of sorts. Client design and contract meetings will most likely be held at the Chanhassen facility for the immediate future.
"I've got to say it's been really gratifying to have so many past clients and industry friends offer their best wishes and help. In general, the building and remodeling community is known as "The Noble Industry" so I guess such support from our trade partners and association members is no surprise," said Murphy.
While the heat of the fire was contained to the rear of the building, the soot and water damage covered the entire building. Even business cards in closed drawers carry the stench and can't be used. Computer equipment that was not damaged by water will not run for long as the soot which invades every opening is corrosive. It will all have to be replaced.
Everyone involved in the cleanup will have to rinse their clothes with a quarter cup of Scope Mouthwash, which according to the recovery company is the only way to get rid of the smell.
“We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work”
― Thomas A. Edison