Fire destroys part of aeronautical engineering firm - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fire destroys part of aeronautical engineering firm

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March 13, 2006

Dougherty County -- The weekend blaze destroyed $750,000 worth of equipment and machinery.

Kosola and Associates' repair station and welding shop burned Saturday about 3:30 A.M.

The 32-year-old family run business on Newton Road designs, builds, and repairs plane parts for air services across the world. Fire Investigators suspect a faulty electrical receptacle or a fan that was plugged in to it on one wall started the blaze.

Besides ten welding and repair stations in the building, there was an inventory of expensive metal tubing stored in the building. As the clean up begins, company officials believe most of it was destroyed.

Kosola and Associates employs 25 people. Tonight company officials say they are not sure if they will have to layoff some employees due the weekend fire. But from the ashes of the burned building they say is a sign the company and their employees will back to full production soon.

"These are the engine mounts here." Harold Kosola looks over the ashes of his aircraft repair and welding station, but says the recovery is already well underway. "We'll work out of it. No problem, just keep on pushing."

The welding stations and materials destroyed in the fire are worth from one half to three quarter million dollars. But Joan Kosola cares more about a book found in the building. "It was a Bible," she said.

Joan Kosola says that Bible tells her the family business and their employees will bounce back quickly. "That just makes me feel better. And I shared it, make sure the guys know about it."

Many of the business's 25 employees watched as firefighters and Insurance adjusters wrapped up, ready to start the clean up.

Joan Kosola said, "We got some wonderful people who work for us. We got some men who, whatever it takes, are ready to get us up and going again."

Welding machines and materials are already on the way, and space is being cleared out in other buildings to house them. With clients across the world waiting on their parts, the Kosolas say they must get back on line as quickly as possible.

If any employees are laid off, they will be called back to work soon. "You know, we're all right. Some things good going to come out of this," said Joan Kosola.

The Kosolas say this sign pulled from the ashes gives them faith they will come back from this fire stronger than ever.

They say the building is covered by their insurance, and should pay for most of the damage.

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