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Manufacturing stopped at local plant

By Staff
Jonathan Willis
Production has been temporarily stopped at a Russellville manufacturing plant.
Officials at DESA-Fmi in Russellville confirmed Tuesday that the plant has stopped producing fireplaces and all other products for the time being.
Plant manager Sam Scarbrough said the plant's parent company broke a covenant with a bank and was forced to shut down production.
"The company is in negotiations with the bank to resolve this issue," Scarbrough said.
While the plant, which makes gas-burning fireplaces, has stopped production, Scarbrough said they are still taking orders until further notice from the bank.
The Russellville plant employs about 80 people, Scarbrough said. At the time being, everyone except office, purchasing and engineering staffs have been temporarily laid off.
The company operates facilities in Russellville, Manchester, Tenn., Santa Ana, Calif., and Bowling Green, Ky.
"We got the first call (on Dec. 8) that there was a problem," Scarbrough said. "Our corporate office has been working with the banks to resolve this."
The plant, which opened in Russellville in 2004, usually sees its busiest time of the year during winter.
"There are snow and ice storms all of the country right now and people are out of power, so we want to be up and running making heaters as quickly as we can," Scarbrough said.
"It's a bad time to not be producing but it's out of our hands right now and we are just waiting to hear from the bank."
Company officials do not have a timetable as to when production could resume.
"I hope it's real soon," Scarbrough said.