Aficionados of music on vinyl may have to switch back to CDs for a while. Fire hit a Banning, California, company Thursday that is among the last still manufacturing a key component in pressing vinyl recordings.
“It is with great sadness we report the Apollo Masters manufacturing and storage facility had a devastating fire and was completely destroyed,” the company website reports.
The company manufactures lacquer specifically for making the master discs used to press vinyl copies.
Firefighters from the Riverside County Fire Department arriving on scene about 8 a.m. found the company’s 15,000-square-foot warehouse fully involved and immediately requested a third-alarm response.
Eighty-two firefighters with Riverside County and the Morongo fire departments responded to the scene. The fire was bought under control within 2 hours and 45 minutes, the Riverside County Fire Department website states.
Concerns about hazardous materials resulted in an evacuation order for businesses and residences within a 3,000-foot radius of the fire. People immediately outside that radius were instructed to shelter-in-place.
The company’s history stretches back to the 1930s, when it signed an agreement to import a French-designed process for making lacquer recording discs. In 1986, when Capitol Records closed its their lacquer division, Apollo took it over and moved the operation to Banning.
“The best news is all of our employees are safe,” the statement from Apollo reads. “We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work though this difficult time.”