The California plant is one of only two in the world that manufactures lacquers, vital to the production of vinyl records.
The manufacturing and storage facility for Apollo Masters Corp. -- a Banning, Calif.-based manufacturing plant that supplies the lacquer used for making master discs, which are then used to create vinyl records -- has burned down in a massive fire, the company confirmed in a statement posted to its official website.
“To all of [our] wonderful customers. It is with great sadness we report the Apollo Masters manufacturing and storage facility had a devastating fire and suffered catastrophic damage,” the statement reads. “The best news is all of our employees are safe. We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time. Thank you for all of the support over the years and the notes of encouragement and support we have received from you all.”
The fire, which was first reported around 8 a.m. PT Friday morning (Feb. 7), broke out while employees were inside the building, though all escaped safely, according to The Desert Sun, which first reported the blaze. But the loss of the plant -- which, along with MDC in Japan, is one of only two worldwide that produces the lacquers needed to create vinyl records -- comes as a difficult blow to the booming vinyl record industry. Billboard reported just last month that 26% of all physical albums sold in the U.S. in 2019 were vinyl.