NEW BERLIN, Pa. — A popular business was destroyed early Friday morning after a devastating fire in Snyder County.
Firefighters arrived at the place on the New Berlin Highway shortly after midnight Friday morning and found heavy smoke and flames coming from the building.
Nick Gilson got a call around midnight that there was smoke inside the plastics room at Gilson Snow's manufacturing building. When he got there, the entire building was up in flames.
"We stood on top of that hill with our whole team, our shop crew. Everyone showed up, tears in their eyes, just felt an excessive amount of gratitude for everyone in this community," Gilson said.
This is Gilson Snow's manufacturing building, where they make all of the company's skis and snowboards.
"This is a moment where it's about the people, first and foremost. Everyone is OK. That's hands down the most important thing."
Nick Gilson and Austin Royer founded Gilson Snow in 2013. The company manufactures skis and snowboards, shipping them to more than 40 countries.
Gilson says production was shut down for the night with only the furnace running.
"In a moment like this, feeling fortunate and lucky. Maybe sounds a little bit crazy, but it's certainly the feelings that I'm filled with."
Newswatch 16 was there just hours before the fire, touring the manufacturing facility. We spoke with Gilson about the company's growth and its upcoming tenth anniversary.
Gilson says they will rebuild. He and his team are appreciative of the support they are getting from around the world.
"As crazy as this scene looks and as much as we've poured the last ten years of our lives into building this business, something we care about an extraordinary amount, I have no doubt that this is going to be a galvanizing moment. The team is rallying together. The community is rallying together, and we're going to build back stronger than we were."
Nick Gilson says just last month, area firefighters did a walk-through of the manufacturing building to familiarize themselves with the layout in case of an emergency.
Firefighters have not said what caused the fire.
Last year, Gilson Snow in Snyder County debuted its newest product: a wooden bicycle. Check it out in the video below.