A swiftly put-out Saturday fire in Plainfield destroyed a storage area, but spared the core of a local business.
The Oak Tree, at 708 Main St., which makes knife blocks for RADA Manufacturing knives, didn’t miss a beat despite the fire, which destroyed some equipment.
“No employees were working and nothing was running,” said Tim Neil, who co-owns the operation with his wife, Renee.
After the fire was put out, cleanup began and preparations were put in place to return to normal production schedule.
“I am very thankful for the Plainfield Fire Department,” he said. “They were very efficient and professional. They got the job done and did it right.”
Neil said that the fire at his business added even more pressure to his already busy routine as the chairman of the Bremer County Board of Supervisors, a job made even busier by the COVID-19 environment, and the questions he has had to handle with regards to the limited access to the courthouse.
He said he expects the board to use technology for future meetings, but on Monday, they are most likely to meet in person, while keeping social distance. Court offices, he added, are all operational, but community members will have to call ahead and use the back door.
Phone numbers of all court offices are posted in the entryway of the back entrance, and correspondence with county offices located in the courthouse can be done through a drop-off box.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, on March 20, temporarily suspended the collection of property taxes, evictions, among other measures and relaxed the rules for public meetings, allowing local governmental bodies to meet electronically in keeping with social distancing measures.
“We have so much we are thankful for,” Neil said. “Thankful that Iowa is not hit as hard as some other states. We don’t know what’s down the road but we should be thankful for what we have now. And you know, Iowa always comes back strong.”