HENDERSON, N.C. — When flames lit up the sky over Henderson a year ago, everyone thought the ETC plant was gone.
But owner Peter Demetriades promised his 50 employees that they would continue to work and get paychecks -- even their Christmas bonuses.
Demetriades admits the day flames ripped through the plant, the future didn't look good.
Workers were just relieved their evacuation plan worked.
"A few minutes later, the building fell in," Demetriades said. "Fortunately, nobody was inside."
Jay Fry, a mechanical engineer, was one of the last employees to leave the burning building.
"We were trying to save what we could salvage," Frye said. "Once we found everyone was out we tried to protect everything we could and prevent as much damage as we could. I'm glad no one got hurt."
Six buildings were destroyed. Now, new buildings stand in place of the ashes.
Employees are back making and shipping floor scrub pads and industrial mops.
The incredible part is that not one employee lost a day's pay during the cleanup and rebuilding process.
For some time, they actually worked outside without a roof over their heads.
The company didn't lose a single order.
"We never thought about it. We just went forward. Our people worked hard, in bad conditions, bad weather, no buildings," Demetriades said. "But we just went forward. Our customers were very loyal and we have to thank our loyal customers and our loyal people."
The employees be honored with a holiday dinner and Christmas bonuses.
Business is up and ETC expects to add more employees to its work force soon.