WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – One year ago, a tragic day unfolded in East Wheeling. A fire broke out at the Ziegenfelder frozen treat company, damaging a large portion of the structure. But, it was the firefighters and first responders who saved it from being a total loss. And these days, the scene at the twin popsicle plant is a completely different site, as construction is underway to make the plant even better.
January 31, 2019, the fire at Ziegenfelder, ruled accidental, was a hazardous situation for employees, firefighters, and first responders. They had to battle the flames under intensely cold temperatures.
CEO, Kevin Heller, told 7News “when you talk about a crisis, typically one of two things can happen, you can learn from it and get better and get stronger, or you can quit and whither and kind of go away. And when faced with that crisis it was great to see everyone pull together and not complain but really ask, what can I do to help.”
And now that one year has passed, Ziegenfelder recognized their internal employees to celebrate where they’re at today from where they were just one year ago. A video conference was held for their two other plants, located in Denver and Chino, who after the fire, stepped up and produced more product for their customers.
Heller said “we started that afternoon planning how we could get back up and back into production because once we knew everyone was safe our number one concern was how can we take care of our employees first and then how can we take care of our customers. Within 18 days we had our plant back up and running and producing twin pops.”
As part of today’s one year anniversary celebration, Ziegenfelder made and delivered gift baskets to the fire department and first responders to thank them again for all of their effort, courage, and heroism they showed on that cold and dangerous day.
Lastly, Heller expressed “once again, I want to be able to thank the first responders for that day. They were able to save the majority of our facility so without that we probably wouldn’t be standing here today.”
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