Bad news today for the gun world. Pac Nor barrels factory burned down. Pac-nor made excellent barrels and has been around for years. High quality and known for their precision the barrels were used from High power to Benchrest Match guns and everything in between. We hope he can get back up and running again soon.
“Thirty-five years of my life went up in this fire,” Chris Dichter said.
Dichter is the owner of the Pac-Nor Barreling plant, at 99299 Overlook Road in Brookings and the adjacent 10 acre property. The plant manufactures precision rifle barrels.
Dichter made the comment as he watched flames rolling through the plant, which sits in a wooded area just east of Highway 101.
A heavy black and gray plume from the plant fire, Wednesday morning, Oct. 23, could be seen from a wide surrounding area.
While fire investigators have not yet released specific details about the cause of blaze, Dichter described what he saw as the blaze erupted inside the 7.000 square-foot building.
“We had a part wore out on a lathe and were waiting for a replacement part,” he said. “As one of the guys moved the electrical conduit attached to the lathe that comes out of a box in the wall, some sparks flew.”
Dichter said other employees pulled the main breaker to cut the power off and shortly after that, fire burst from the wall.
“I’d never seen anything go like that,” Dichter said. “It blew up with smoke and fire. It sounded like a tree fell on the plant.”
Employees witnessing the incident immediately grabbed fire extinguishers and attempted to put the flames out. Seeing that they could not stop the fire, they all quickly exited the building.
“There were eight or nine of us that got out,” Dichter said. “Just like we had trained. Everybody had an assembly point and got out safe. No body got hurt and I congratulated them on that.”
Dichter estimated that the building and machinery is valued at between $4 to $6 million.
Whether he will rebuild is still unclear.
“I am 66 years-old and I don’t know if I have the time left,” he said. “It took my lifetime to find all the machinery in this plant.”
Dichter opened the plant in 1985. The facility is insured, he said.
The plant supplies customers all over the world.