Bionicon USA are set to rebuild their facility in southern California after it was destroyed in a fire last month.
The new warehouse and demo centre in the Kern River Valley went up in flames on September 18. Cause hasn’t been determined, but investigators believe the blaze was started by a faulty air compressor.
The entire inventory of bicycles, parts, frames and components – as well as the workshop and fleet of demo bikes – was destroyed.
The building, on the main road in Wofford Heights, had undergone extensive renovation in preparation for Bionicon’s move to the area.
“The local community has been behind our move to the Kern River Valley from the start,” said Paul Ferguson, owner and CEO of Bionicon USA. “Their support through this tragedy has been really encouraging. They have made it clear how much it means to have a mountain bike company of Bionicon’s calibre doing business here in the valley.”
The facility was the company’s first full-time Demo Center in the US. There are other Bionicon Demo Centers in the UK, Germany and Switzerland.
No-one was in the building at the time of the fire, which was noticed at around 4pm. Neighbours called 911 and reported smoke coming from the roof.
When firefighters arrived on the scene they were confronted with flames shooting out of windows, exploding shock cartridges and burning magnesium fork lowers. The charred building is uninhabitable and beyond repair.
“We’ve received offers of temporary storage and office space, as well as assistance from Bionicon in Germany to get us up and running as soon as possible,” said Ferguson, a former professional snowboarder who launched Bionicon USA in 2005.
“The search is on for a new office, showroom, bike shop and Demo Center. We have pending inquiries on a couple of locations.”
Bionicon USA expect to be back in business full-time in a new location in the valley by December 2009. “It feels like we’ve had a practice run at putting together a Demo Center,” Ferguson said. “And this next time around is going to be even better than the original.”