Despite Fire, Lee & Cates Doesn't Miss a Beat

A fire broke out at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Lee and Cates glass last week (see previous USGNN story), resulting in much damage to the building, but as Tom Lee III, chief executive officer and president of the company, told members of the industry, the company never missed a beat.

"The fire was contained to the back half of the building and was stopped about 10 feet from three trucks. Five more minutes and everything would have been gone. Insurance will cover everything we lost," he said.

Lee said that the biggest obstacle for the company was relocating the workspace. The company's auto glass warehouse nearby was modified to fit the company's needs, creating openings for roll-up doors and setting up a temporary trailer with electricity and computer network.

"The shop actually never quit functioning," Lee said. "It happened on a Thursday night and on Saturday morning we had 20 of our employees from 6 different shops downtown moving everything from one building to the next. It was an awesome sight to see that many of our employees come together just to help out their fellow employee. A contractor friend put a crew on the job working through the weekend and on Monday he cut the holes and completed the job."

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