January 28th 2012. Some scenes from the fire.......

This is (or, was) North Creek Music Systems. The main building was about 3800 square feet on the main floors, plus a full basement and full attic. The listening lab on the left with 14' ceilings, space in back with 16' ceilings. The original structure was super-insulated with R30 walls and R45 ceilings. The listening room and back room were SIP construction with R30 walls and R50 ceilings. The warehouse on the right had SIP walls and attic trusses above, so we had an un-heated storage space. It was by far the most fuel efficient building in Thendara, the heart of the Adirondacks in Northern New York.

The warehouse on the right had 10 foot ceilings and was built with 6” thick poured, fiberglass reinforce concrete floor with radiant heat, climate controlled to be kept at 45 degrees and strong enough to hold pallets of drivers. At one time we had parts for over 3000 tweeters and 2000 woofers in stock, add to this several thousand bucking magnets and it was some serious weight. When we discontinued our entry level loudspeaker kits in 2006 it freed up this space, so we mapped off a 10 foot x 10 foot square in the middle and that is where we pre-assembled our Fibonacci Technologies' displays for CEDIA, RMAF and other shows.

For the winters of 2011 and 2012, long time North Creek employee Windy's husband Mike was renting snowmobiles and needed storage space, so from December through April we made that his space.

So now about the fire....

This is January 28th, 2012. Hilary and I had just finished a visit with my parents and sister in California. We had driven from
Los Angeles to Sedona AZ on a Friday night, arriving at 11:00 p.m., settled in and went straight to bed. We were on west coast time and did not even find out about the fire until well after the last news shot was taken.....

The fire was reported at 8:25 a.m. Eastern time. Windy and Mike were in the building. Windy spent nine years with North Creek, she made most of our crossovers and all of our early ribbons. Both of them got out in time, shaken up but unhurt.

These photos were shot by a local observer and later broadcast on WKTV Utica NY. I hope it's OK to reproduce them here....

The fire started 8:20 when Mike accidentally knocked over a one gallon gas can in the warehouse, which spilled onto the floor. The 911 call was at 8:25. No time stamp on the photos but I was told it was about 30 minutes before water was on the fire.

This was the warehouse. Mike got out the same door the firefighters are spraying water through.
Windy went through the back door of the warehouse and into her office (in back), then got out the back door.
Both were un-hurt.

The garage must have flashed over, the open door is now full of flames and there is fire around back as well.
The fire is also coming from the back deck off Windy's office.

The fire on the left corner was our shipping carton storage mezzanine. The listening lab is the section of building closest to the photographer. The fire has burned through the top and the back and it is not looking too good.
The upstairs section still standing is the packing room and ribbon assembly room.
The 16-foot ribbon corrugator machine is against the upstairs wall closest to the photographer.

The upstairs of the garage (on the far right side of this photo) was record storage, furniture storage and where we
kept all of the shipping cartons for our electronics. The flames pouring out of the top right corner is the crossover assembly room and capacitor and resistor “live stock” inventory. The fire is now making its way into the listening lab.

This is really really bad (but it gets much worse...). Both the ribbon assembly room and the crossover assembly room are going up, but that's not the worst part. The big flames above the firefighter's helmet is coming from the ribbon diaphragm cutting room, which is also where we store all of our painting, staining and cleaning supplies, including paint thinner, lacquer thinner, Superclean, wood stains, alkyd paints and spray paints. Maybe ten gallons of volatile stuff. Most was in a sheet-metal cabinet under the 4-foot cast iron sink. We also stored finished ribbons here if they were not needed in the listening lab.

Rumor has it this room exploded just after this photo was taken.

Later I found a melted center channel ribbon out by the snowmobiles. Under the wreckage I found half of a Miraposa ribbon, twisted. The welds had melted. No sign of the cast iron sink.

Above the firefighter's left shoulder is my office window.

And so we caught the first flight home and this is driving into town..........

At least it was a sunny day!

From the back yard. Windy's office, which was 14' x 32' with a gorgeous six foot deck running its entire width, is completely gone. No sign of it, like it was never even there! At far right is the listening lab.

This was a snowmobile.

This was our coil winder. That's a 12” diameter spool of 8 AWG copper wire.

More coil winder here.....

This was my office.

The door to the listening lab. I really don't want to go in there......

32 years of CD's.

More CD's and my Antique Sound Labs SET amps.

I wonder if these are still under warranty?

Seas woofers and Foster E110 Tweeters.

My favorite listening chair, a wicker rocker. Actually no good for serious listening but great for a Saturday nap.
Kitty Kats in the background

At least it wasn't crushed.

Thunder Subwoofer.

What's that, in the corner?
(actually it was behind a rockwool bass trap).....

A Big Daddy Survives! An yes, it still works!

So that is all. In the end, Mike and Windy lost everything they had for their business. North Creek lost everything except seven CD's and one Big Daddy ribbon. Every machine, every show room sample, every tool, every piece of equipment.... it's all gone.

The morals of the story:

    1) Always have two exit points from every place. Mike made it out one,
    Windy made it out the other, and the fire was between them.

    2) The listening lab lasted as long as it did because it was double layer sheet rock. Double sheet rock is good.

      3) Have a very good insurance agent. I have Beth at the Winfield Group and she has been with us every step of the way.

4) Mike and Windy getting out unhurt is not just the most important thing, it is the only thing.
They have two beautiful children. Everything else is just “stuff”.

A sincere “Thank you!” to all whom have expressed their condolences.

North Creek and Fibonacci Technologies will rebuild. We'll be back!
(Update: we relocated to Norther Arizona in October 2012 and have been back in business since. )