Laundry rises from the ashes
SIX months on from a fire that totally destroyed the business, Cannonvale’s Barrier Reef Linen has risen phoenixlike from the ashes and is up and running again.
The fire, which broke out in the early hours of Thursday, April 10, gutted the multi-million dollar industrial laundry on Carlo Drive, decimating everything in its path, including the concrete slab.
For business owner Rod Flynn, the aftermath was anything but pretty, and the past few months have been “one hell of a ride”.
“But I just wanted people to know that you can come back from these things,” Mr Flynn said this week, from the newly re-built laundry, now known in the industry as the best Australia-wide.
After the fire, one of the first challenges Mr Flynn and his team faced was continuing to service Hamilton Island’s massive laundry and linen management needs.
Thanks to an arrangement with the Nuciforia familyowned Delta Laundry and Dry Cleaners in Ayr, the Barrier Reef Linen team was back in action within 48 hours, just a couple of hundred kilometres to the north.
Meanwhile, insurance claims were lodged and new state-of-the-art equipment was sourced, arriving from Germany after 23 weeks.
Mr Flynn said the machin- ery took 10 days to install and although he and his team had allowed for teething troubles, there were none.
Looking back on the whole experience, Mr Flynn said there were a few lessons learned.
“Total destruction is total destruction – you have nothing left – from business cards to computers – everything had to be replaced,” he said.
“You also spend a long time in limbo waiting for your insurance company to do the numbers and that’s very worrying – there’s a period of about four weeks of unknown and sleepless nights.
“Our insurance was good but I can only imagine how dangerous and scary it would be if you skimped on your insurance,” he warned.
Mr Flynn, who managed to retain about half of his staff-base of about 20, and is now re-employing many of those who could not travel to Ayr, thanked everyone involved in the recovery process, particularly operations manager Cathy Lowe and assistant manager Anthony Jenkins, for all of their hard work.
He also thanked Hamilton Island and the many other locals who gave their support during what were extremely tough times.
ALL IN THE WASH: Barrier Reef Linen Managing Director Rod Flynn points proudly to his newly re-built laundry, which was previously gutted by fire earlier this year.