Welshpool business Aquatic Leisure Technologies damaged by fire

Lynley Papineau’s Welshpool business will survive a recent fire, she says. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d428065
Lynley Papineau’s Welshpool business will survive a recent fire, she says. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d428065

WATCHING smoke pour out of her Welshpool family-owned business was devastating for Lynley Papineau.

Aquatic Leisure Technologies was one of two Welshpool industrial buildings to go up in flames on Thursday, October 16.

Mrs Papineau said the cause and total damage of the fire were still being assessed.

‘The bad news is that the fire occurred, the good news is it was minimised,’ she said.

‘If there’s any happiness to be going from such a devastating event is that our business is able to bounce back.’

‘It was pretty stressful on Thursday when we were all evacuated and just watching the business and the smoke come from the factory.

‘I can’t begin to explain the relief of not only ourselves as family members, but relief for the staff that the damage had been minimised.’

The fire broke out just before 10am in one of the production halls where fibreglass pools were being manufactured.

About 100 staff members had to be evacuated from the Stott Street business while more than 40 firefighters and 10 trucks tended to the flames.

Mrs Papineau said regular fire drills helped employees evacuate the building swiftly.

‘The fire department commented that we had evacuated so promptly, which meant they could just focus on fighting the fire,’ she said.

Significant damage was done, with a portion of the factory having to be repaired but not rebuilt. ‘The staff have been nothing short of amazing and have banded together and put a huge effort in to get the business up and running as quickly as possible,’ Mrs Papineau said.

‘We’ve been working all weekend to clean and prepare the areas ready for production this week and we have industrial cleaners in to remove all the smoke damage from the building.

‘We had a generator on site by Thursday afternoon, which enabled us to power the office and have communications back up and running by the day’s end.’

With about 150 pools in the yard, Mrs Papineau said the company was working towards having all pools ready before Christmas.