April 19, 2013
Campbell Freightliner of New Windsor, N.Y. has set up a temporary home in the neighboring village of Maybrook after a fire last month destroyed its building.
Six fire departments from surrounding cities and towns battled the March 20 blaze for in excess of 14 hours. The fire appeared to have originated in the dealership’s service bay and destroyed nearly a dozen trucks.
More than 100 firefighters battled back the flames, and they had a lot of company.
“Most of the employees showed up at the facility the night of the fire,” Dealer principal Scott Campbell said. “They were just shell shocked.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Campbell said the dealership was closed when the fire started. Authorities were notified when the blaze tripped the building’s security system.
“The police showed up because the burglar alarm went off and they found a truck on fire in the building,” he said.
Parts and service employees were relocated to sister sites in Newburgh and Edison, N.J., a nearly 90 minute commute.
Campbell said the company offered to house affected employees, but they each elected to carpool to their temporary job site.
“They’ve really just taken it all in stride,” Campbell said of his employees, whom he updates at least weekly on the status of the move.
Sales staff remained on site, setting up shop in an office trailer in the shadows of the building’s charred remains.
“We’re still selling trucks off the lot,” Campbell says. “There’s been a slight disruption but the service and parts guys have reached out to our customers and we’ve set up a temporary phone bank for parts orders, and we’re still working outside in the lot. “
But they won’t be there for much longer.
Work is currently underway to move inventory to the Maybrook site, and Campbell expects to have that facility fully operational by May 1.
He hopes to move back into the New Windsor facility once construction is complete.
“We’re hoping to be back within one year,” he says of the anticipated homecoming on Windsor Highway. “The building was basically condemned, so it has to be knocked down to the ground and rebuilt.”