Don Miller said he’s had “better times” since the sausage factory his family owns caught on fire last week.
Miller, the vice president of sales at Evergood Fine Foods, said the business will be shut down for awhile after a two-alarm fire on New Year’s Eve at the company’s facility in San Francisco’s Bayview District.
The fire at 1389 Underwood Ave. broke out shortly before noon on Dec. 31 and was under control about 90 minutes later, fire officials said.
The fire was isolated to the smokehouse in a 1,500 square-foot-area located in the west side of the facility, Miller said.
He estimated that about 30,000 pounds of sausages were lost in the fire and everything that was produced on Dec. 31 but not damaged by the blaze was red-tagged by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Fire officials today said the blaze caused an estimated $1.5 million in damage. Miller said that figure could double after the company completes its assessment.
As crews were fighting the fire, the battalion chief at the scene expressed concern that the roof might collapse.
Miller said today that the roof did not collapse and damage from the fire is not visible from the exterior, but there is a large hole in the roof.
The building sustained significant structural damage, according to fire officials.
No injuries were reported and the cause of the blaze is under investigation.
The company will continue shipping products back and forth from the San Francisco facility but Miller could not provide an estimate of when production would resume there.
For now, production will take place at outside manufacturing plants in Fairfield, Stockton and Texas, Miller said.
Around 40 employees, many of whom either work in the kitchen or package products, are being shuttled between San Francisco and Fairfield, where the majority of the sausages will now be made, Miller said.
Speaking of the company’s employees, Miller said, “We’re trying to do all we can do to keep them going.”
The company’s sausages are all precooked and could run short in the next few weeks as outside manufacturers work to get production up to speed, Miller said.
While Miller doesn’t expect customers will be significantly affected by the availability of the company’s products, the company may face problems in preparation for Super Bowl Sunday, which is one of the company’s biggest production periods of the year.
Miller advised anyone in business to always have a back-up plan in the event of an emergency, such as a fire, and said his family’s company was fortunate to have a plan in place before last week’s blaze.
Evergood Fine Foods moved to Underwood Avenue in 1966, 40 years after opening the “Evergood Pork Store” in San Francisco’s Mission District, according to the company’s website.
Its products are sold in stores nationwide.
Jamey Padojino, Bay City News