Xtek Precision Maintenance to move forward after fire

Damaged parts of the Xtek Precision Maintenance building on South Third Street are torn away Saturday as the business makes plans to move forward following a May 31 fire.

Activity at the Xtek Precision Maintenance building on South Third Street resumed last weekend, as workers tore down much of the damaged areas and cleared debris from the site.

The damage was caused by a fire the evening of May 31, but Xtek Precision Maintenance President John Mayhan said the business will continue.

“We’ve been trying to assess the damage — which we’ve done pretty well — and determine what we need to do and the steps moving forward so that we can rebuild,” he told The Sun on Wednesday. “Basically, from that point forward, we’re trying to ensure that we keep operations going as best as possible and put the temporary provisions in place to continue operations until we can come up with our permanent solution.

“In some form or fashion, everybody’s been working (since the fire). … All employees, for the most part, kept busy and have been coming to work every day. We actually have office trailers onsite, and we do have some employees who are working from home on a day-to-day basis, and we’re still trying to set up areas to have temporary offices put in place.”

Mayhan said he hopes to have temporary offices in place by early August.

Xtek Precision Maintenance employees do a variety of duties, including administrative and engineering work as well as customer contact personnel.

The company changed its name from Precision Machine Inc. on July 1 as part of a rebranding process that began before the fire. Xtek Inc. is the name of its parent company and is based in Cincinnati. It has about 70 employees.

“We are very tied into steel, aluminum, chemical and paper mills — into that industry,” Mayhan said. “What we do is provide field service as well as repair and parts manufacturing for the equipment that produces those particular elements.

“We do a lot of different things, but a lot of those industries have the same type of equipment, so primarily, things like drive train or material handling-type of equipment — we try to install it for them. If it’s broken, we bring it back to our shop and replace it or repair it.”

Mayhan said the company is looking at a lot of different options as far as what to do with the building — either simply rebuild it or expand or change the building.

“We’re planning on building right where we’re at,” he said. “We will take a look at different things. In some cases, we may not be allowed to rebuild exactly where we are because of the standard codes in place now, as opposed to the ones in place when it was built.

“We’ll take a look at the opportunity to see what we can do to improve, but for the most part, we know what we need and what we need to do in order to run as we work. We’re still looking at that first, and then, we’ll take a look at the advantages for opportunities to improve workflow and safety.”

Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle said soon after the fire the investigation could not turn up a definitive cause.

“We have done all that we can do,” he said on June 2. “Due to the damage to the area that we suspect being the area of origin, we’re not going to be able to determine, for sure, the cause of the fire. It is going to remain undetermined as an official classification.”

Kyle was unavailable for comment on the status of the investigation Wednesday.

Mayhan was optimistic about the future of the company.

“I think we’ll be fine,” he said. “I feel we’ve got a great team here. Our parent company is behind us, the owner of the property which we lease it from is behind us, and we worked well with the insurance companies.

“We just hired a general contractor, Pinnacle Inc., to help us start the process of rebuilding. We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I believe we’ll get there. It will be difficult — there’s no doubt. It’s a change we’re going through, and we’re coming up on a very busy part of our season.

“It will be challenging,” he said, “but we’ve gotten through COVID, and we’ve gotten through lots of things, and we’ve been able to persevere, and I have no doubt that we will be able to do that as well.”

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