Fire Damage Repair in Madison County – 77 year old Giles & Kendall CedarSafe Plant

Smoke billowing out a building with firemen and firetrucks extinguishing flames


Project Type: Fire Damage
Building Type: Factory
Contact: Apex Restoration DKI, AL


A devastating fire broke out in the 77-year-old Giles & Kendall CedarSafe plant, located in Madison County, AL. As the only producer of rare, top quality cedar oil used in top-line perfumes, the factory had only 45 days to get back to production. Otherwise, with business interruption costing between $150k and $175k each week, the company would have to fold, putting several people in the community out of work.


DKI showed up on scene and worked with the CEO of Giles & Kendall for several days before their insurance company contacted Crawford to adjust the claim. While waiting for the claims process, the factory had a fatal incident, which brought OSHA, ATF, the State Fire Marshal and other investigators to inspect. This investigation delayed the work even further, and DKI was having doubts of being hired for the job.

Yet, the team continued to press on and do their background research on Giles & Kendall’s facility and equipment. So, by November 17, when the CEO signed the Work Authorization to hire them, DKI already had a head start on the project. Yet, given a short deadline, which the adjusters and consultants deemed impossible, the team ran into several obstacles:

  • Unfortunately, most of the equipment was outdated or custom built and the drawings were unavailable. DKI was able to contact a few engineers who were familiar with retorts (big, stainless steel vats), the facility’s equipment design, but only had a few drawings to provide the Madison County Codes Department.
  • When the conveyor company arrived with the conveyors, most of them didn’t fit, because the equipment had originally been custom built for the 125 by 275-foot-long building. The engineers had to redesign the 120-foot conveyors and weld them to properly fit.
  • Once the holidays began rolling around, no one wanted to work, skeptical of the project being completed by the beginning of the new year.

Regardless of these setbacks and through persistence though, DKI was able to keep the project running. With a 45-man crew working around the clock and overcoming each obstacle, the team successfully received their certificate of occupancy on January 15, 2016, exactly when the company needed to resume business. Within just a couple of days, production at the plant continued.