Just Foam, the Oceanside-based blank company featured prominently in SURFING Magazine's January 2007 Surfboard Design issue, suffered a huge setback on Tuesday night when its factory on Willowbrook Drive burned to the ground.
Within two minutes of the blaze, flames were visible from a mile away, according to the OFD. They are calling this a total loss, with contents estimated at $1,000,000 in value and structural damage estimated at $1.5 million. "It's standard procedure to investigate the cause of every fire," says the OFD's Mark Alderson. "But at this stage, it looks purely accidental."
Alderson said while there was no explosion (most of Just Foam's chemicals are non-combustible and water-based), the stock loads of cured foam certainly contributed to the fire's intensity. The factory is also an old packing plant lined with Styrofoam, making prime kindling for any errant spark or electrical short.
Scott Saunders, owner and founder of Just foam, is used to setbacks. A run of "bad batch" foam a year ago almost put him under, but since then he's regained his clientele's trust and continues to add new shapers to his list. And with this latest calamity, he maintains his resolve to continue what he started. "I've been so moved by the outpouring of support," he said yesterday. "My employees said they're here to help me rebuild. In fact, we're going to start making new molds today."
Not only is he getting help from his employees, the city of Oceanside itself is pitching in. "We're a surf town," says Alderson, "and we're well aware of the Clark foam situation and how a blank factory burning down can have a serious trickle-down effect. That's why we have an economic development department here and we're working on getting Just Foam in a new building and up and running as soon as possible."
Translation: expect new foam to be pouring in about 4 to 6 weeks.