A company that builds houses in North Collins is a total loss after a three-alarm fire Thursday morning.
Firefighters say when they arrived at Timberbuilt on Eagle Drive around 3 a.m., the building was "already on the ground." Around a half dozen companies were called to the blaze, which firefighters struggled to get under control for hours.
With temperatures in the single digits and teens, conditions were brutal. One firefighter was hurt when he slipped and fell on ice at the scene. But no one else was injured and no one was inside at the time the fire broke out.
“Somewhere in the middle of the night, it caught fire,” said Timberbuilt Founder, George Klemens.
Within hours the business Klemens worked years to build was nearly gone. “We've built from Alaska, to Nova Scotia, to Florida and many states in between.”
The company designs and assembles hundreds of private homes and commercial buildings. Then crews would reconstruct it in the field.
For Klemens, the work is more than a job. “It's a passion. We try to build really good, green sustainable houses.”
Timber only fueled the fire. Klemens said it started in his workshop and spread to the sales office. “It's a building full of wood. Lots of wood. Lots of big timbers, and it burned like it. We had timber projects that we were working on, and tools, and lots of memories.”
But Klemens said there is a silver lining. “We heard from so many people in this community, too. And, that feels great. Nobody was hurt. We can replace the buildings, and we will.”
Klemens vows to rebuild, and soon. He hopes to have his 20 employees back to work by next week. "We did have four projects that were in process. We're going to try and deliver them on time, so we just get back to it.”
There is still no word on a cause.