In July 2016, a catastrophic fire tore through Grand Traverse Pallet in Ellsworth, Michigan. There were strokes of luck with the blaze: no one was hurt, and employees were able to pull down a fire door between the north and south ends of the business before evacuating. Still, the fire decimated half of the Grand Traverse Pallet building, leaving the business with the prospect of having to rebuild that part of the premises from scratch.
The Two Halves
Prior to the blaze, Grand Traverse Pallet had been split up into two halves: the mill on one side and the assembly plant on the other. The mill side of the business was responsible for cutting wood into pieces of lumber that could be used for pallets. The assembly side was used for putting the pallets together and treating them to remove moisture. Losing the mill side meant that the business could only be partially functional.