Written by a Nosler employee today
Needless to say it was an exciting day at work. It was a lousy drizzle/rain day that really interrupted our on-going remodel of the Shooter's Pro Shop. We had the usual flow of customers in the morning and into the early afternoon. (JD, for information I sold a bunch of .458 cal. 300 grain Ballistic Tips seconds.)
We only had two customers in the store when Bob Boyk, Human Resource Manager came into the shop telling us that there was a fire in the Ballistics tunnel and to evacuate the building. We did not finish the transaction as the customers were at the counter but rather escorted them out of the building.
All employees gathered across the street at the distribution center. Bob Boyk made certain that all employees were accounted for. He should be seriously commended for his leadership in the swift, orderly and non-panic evacuation of the building.
After brief minutes out of the building primers could be heard "cooking off" Two or three minutes later there was a huge explosion and the southeast corner destroyed. The debris and smoke erupted approximately 250-300 feet into the air. No one was in jeopardy when this occurred but as a precaution the employees were asked to move about another half block away. Standing in the light rainfall only heightened the sense of gloom.
I was standing at the curb when someone drove up with John A. Nosler, the 97 year old founder of the company. As he exited the vehicle I was the first person he contacted and his first words were, "is everyone okay?" After being assured that no one was injured he glanced over his shoulder at the building then turn to enter the distribution center to meet with Bob and J.R. Nosler. As he turned to walk away the look on his face broke my heart.
In my past life I was a Police Lieutenant in San Diego and was Incident/ Scene Commander at many major incidents from fires to multiple murders to plane crashes, etc. Situation such as this unfortunately usually brings out the worst in people and exposes their flaws.
Today, Bob Boyk shined as a dynamic leader. John R. Nosler was poised and calm gathering information, formulating a plan and then effectively communicating with his employees.
Everyone is saddened by this incident but do not be dismayed. This company has bright young leadership with vision and will rapidly and effectively rise from the ashes. Good things will come from this. The management team will meet in the morning and evaluate the damage and by noon will have a plan to keep making the best bullets out there.
I didn't realize that John was still living. At 97 years of age it has to be a huge heart ache to see his baby go up in flames. I hope he handles it well and lives sees the rebirth of an even stronger more efficient company soon.