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Cabinet shop owner to reopen next week

by Lindsey Wells | August 31, 2018 at 4:00 a.m.

McClain's Custom Cabinets plans to reopen for business next week, less than a week after the company's building was engulfed in flames following a reported lightning strike Wednesday evening, its owner said Thursday.

Robbie McClain was over an hour outside of Hot Springs on Wednesday when he said his phone began being flooded with calls and text messages.

"I started having a bunch of phone calls, and I'm thinking, 'Who keeps bothering me?' I was on my way to go eat with a buddy in Little Rock and all these different numbers keep calling me. Finally, my sister-in-law calls, so I said, 'I better take this,' because it had been just one after the other, and she said, 'Kelley's not answering the phone -- your cabinet shop's on fire,'" he recalled. "They called 911 and from then on I probably had 50 phone calls and 50 text messages before I even got here. Then, a buddy of mine called me and said, 'Hey, don't even get in a hurry, you've got nothing left.'"

McClain arrived at his shop to find his business consumed by fire and dozens of firefighters fighting the flames.

"It was unbelievable. I want to thank all of the firefighters ... I had 10 vehicles back here and they drug them out of here, because the keys were all in the building and I wasn't here," McClain said.

He added that he was able to save a couple of firearms and other personal belongings from a safe inside the building, but everything else was lost. He estimates the damage to total "a couple million dollars."

McClain's Custom Cabinets opened the doors at its Airport Road location in 1986, but McClain said the business of building cabinets has been in his family beginning with his father since 1976.

"I've lost 40 years of my life," McClain said, "and it sucks, but I'm OK. Honestly, I'm OK. Nobody got hurt."

He said the outpouring of support from friends and the community has been nothing short of amazing. From fellow shop owners offering the use of their facilities to individuals calling to offer up their time and support, McClain said the community has stepped up in a major way to lend a hand.

"I knew I had some friends but there are people that have reached out to me from everywhere. There's an aircraft cabinet company that called me and offered to let me use their building, their facility, whatever I needed. I've had Billy Ward here in town call me, I've had shops come here or call me and say, 'If you need my building, you need my tools, just do what you need to do,'" he said. "I need to figure out a way to thank all of them, everyone."

McClain said he and his 17 employees plan to be back to work by Tuesday of next week in two temporary rental buildings, one located near Lake Hamilton School and one in Mid-America Park.

"Robbie McClain don't slow down," he said. "Most everybody that knows me knows I'm not going to mess around. I've already got tool guys, I've been on the phone -- I'm on it, and I will definitely rebuild."

Local on 08/31/2018

Print Headline: Cabinet shop owner to reopen next week

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