Machine Fire Case Study: Finishing & Coating Company



A fire occurred at a finishing & coating company specializing in floorboard finishing – sanding, staining, and sealing – before the floorboards are packaged and sold to retailers. Acetone is a primary chemical used to clean the plant machinery that varnishes and stains the wood. One Friday night, the acetone fumes around one of the machines ignited, starting a machine fire in the plant.

The fire deposited soot that permeated equipment, tooling, control cabinets, conveyor belts and all other surfaces. With one section of the production line destroyed by the fire, and soot contaminating the rest of the equipment, the plant was shut down and business disrupted. The priority was to remove the soot from the machinery, deep clean the control cabinets and remove the flash rusting. If the soot is not properly and thoroughly removed, it can cause corrosion and arcing, resulting in further damage to the equipment and controls.


  • Large Equipment
  • Tooling
  • Control Cabinets
  • Conveyor Belts


For Prism Specialties, the challenge was to get the plant operational within six days, or the company would begin losing revenue.

Replacing the equipment rather than restoring it would cost the company weeks. Forty pieces of equipment were affected.


  • 50 service technicians cleaned on-site.
  • The total restoration cost was $350,000.
  • The estimated replacement cost of the equipment is $8 million.
  • No lost revenue.