Vaude is rapidly recovering from a fire that broke out at its headquarters in the German town of Tettnang during the night of April 27, causing damages evaluated at a total of between €500,000 and €1 million, which will be covered by insurance. The fire was caused by lightning that struck the metal roof of the production facilities during a severe thunderstorm in the area. No one was injured.
The fire department was on site within minutes. Some 70 firemen managed to extinguish the fire quickly. Nonetheless, the heat was so intense that it spread throughout the wooden part of the roof, causing substantial damage to the local production facilities. The water from the firemen's hoses destroyed the corporate kindergarten, but Vaude has found a temporary room for the 30-odd children of its employees in a nearby school.
The local production, which is mostly limited to several lines of waterproof bicycle bags, is expected to resume at the beginning of June. The 35 people employed in the production returned after one day of absence to help clean up the mess and transfer the welding operations to the basement and the sewing part of the manufacturing process to a temporary hall ten kilometers away. All the machinery has been preserved from the fire and from the water that had been thrown at it, the company said.
Vaude said that deliveries of pre-orders are not going to be affected by the incident, but the company asked retailers to be patient with short-term orders, which are generally executed from one day to the next. Most of the items sold by Vaude are made in China. For those that are made in Tettnang, the production and the kindergarten should return to their former locations by September.
The remaining operations at Vaude have gone on as usual. The fire spared the administrative building and the warehouse, where a total of nearly 500 employees work. A spokesperson for the company said she was glad that the fire had not affected the renovation and expansion of the main building. Based on a new open concept, it is due to be finished before the OutDoor show in nearby Friedrichsafen in July.