A fire roared through Chicago's southwest side in the early morning hours of Nov. 15, burning down HICO Group's two-story, 55,000-sq.-ft. factory. The inferno started from a car-fire adjacent to a rag factory, which was next to the HICO building.

The company felt fortunate that only its smaller, older warehouse was lost, while its main facility in the area, a five-story, 300,000-sq.-ft. warehouse with offices, was left untouched, suffering only the loss of power and phone lines for several days, according to Ken Fey, vice president.

Sales reps immediately notified HICO's customers, which include high-end showrooms with CUCINA faucets, PVF distributors of HICO Flex Brass products and OEM customers of privately labeled products, Fey said. The fire caused a one-week delay in delivery.

“This minor setback will not influence our current plans for expansion,” said Harold Isaacs, company founder, in a statement. “Our strength of inventory and service remains intact.”

At its peak, the blaze had nearly 300 firefighters at the scene - a full third of Chicago's fire companies. No deaths and only minor injuries were reported.

CUCINA is a division of HICO Group, a privately owned manufacturer, fabricator and importer of plumbing specialty products.