MONTMAGY, QC - Flames destroyed the 75-employee plant of Habitaflex Concept Inc., located in an industrial park in the town of Montmagny, about 30 miles from Québec City.
The fire was reported about 2 a.m. Friday morning, April 6, in the central section of the building. Management said in a Facebook post it was working to minimize the impact and continue operations. The Habitaflex Concept Inc., which manufactures smaller fold-up, transportable home building kits.
It is one of several sister production plants in the area operated by Maison Laprise, which employs 300 manufacturing a variety of sophisticated prefabricated homes. The fully finished homes can include cabinetry, flooring and millwork and are designed to erect rapidly at construction sites. Production at other plants was unaffected by the fire, according to Bastien Poulin, Vice-President and CFO of the Laprise Group.
"The main thing is that no injuries are reported," said Poulin. He reassured the 75 employees of the Habitaflex plant that the company does not expect any loss of employment as a result of the fire. "Employees of the factory have all been relocated to sister plants," Poulin said.
Servers for Maison Laprise were damaged by water and smoke, according to a report in French by Ian Bussieres, reporting for Le Soleil, a Quebec City newspaper.
Established in Montmagny since 1989, the manufacturer of pre-manufactured homes and commercial structures launched its Habitaflex Concept division in 2000 and then bought Doors and Windows Laurendeau the following year. In 2009, the company made the jump to the international scene, launching Laprise SAS, a builder of wooden frame houses in Tours, France, and in 2010 built 7500 temporary homes for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
"Laprise House has five active sites in Montmagny and employs 300 workers, including 75 in the building that burned, which includes 25 employees who worked at the Maison Laprise and about forty production employees of Habitaflex , a transformable four-season home concept launched in the early 2000s," Montmagny's Mayor Langevin said. "The first news we received indicates that the computer servers were not destroyed by the flames, but they could have been damaged by water and smoke."
While production at Habitaflex is interrupted for an indefinite period, other divisions of Maison Laprise continue to operate. "The company will still need its servers to resume normal operations and the City of Montmagny is listening to help them reopen. Our engineering department is available to give them a hand, "said Mayor Langevin.
Owner and founder of Maison Laprise, Daniel Laprise was outside the country during the fire but returned home on hearing the news.