24/7 Emergency Response


Baxter International

CASE STUDY: Manufacturing, Medical

EVENT: Machine Fire

For over 80 years, Baxter International has been a leader in the healthcare industry and currently operates in more than 28 countries worldwide. A developer and manufacturer of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, Baxter’s products help sustain the lives of people with chronic and acute medical conditions.

On a Sunday morning in late October, 2011, a machine fire broke out in one of Baxter’s medical device manufacturing centers. The main site of the fire was the 50,000 square foot main fabrication area. Add to this, soot and smoke had traveled throughout the entire 100,000 square foot facility. Worse, extensive water damage, and the potential for mold and mildew, compounded the numerous challenges. Because Baxter is one of only a few companies manufacturing the particular medical device fabricated at this facility, it was crucial to restore operations as soon as possible. With operations at a halt, it was estimated Baxter stood to lose over $200,000 per day.


72 hours

Through strategic planning and mobilization of topnotch teams, Kustom was able to get Baxter operational within the requested 72-hour target.

Why Kustom Was Selected

At 6 p.m. the same day, after the fire department cleared the scene, the Facilities Engineer asked Kustom, and three competing restoration companies, to assess the damage. All were allowed a 20-minute walk-through plus an additional 40 minutes to prepare an estimate. Even more challenging, Baxter wanted the cleanup completed, and the facility operational, within a 72-hour timeframe. While their competitors sent only one representative to conduct the walk-through, Kustom responded to Baxter’s urgency with four highly experienced supervisors. Together, they accurately developed a comprehensive scope of work and estimate. This dedication to going above and beyond, combined with many years of disaster and restoration experience, proved to give Kustom the advantage. Awarded the project the same evening, Kustom immediately mobilized and did not leave the facility until completing work 72 hours later.

Mission-Critical Challenges, Strategies and Solutions

Rapid Response

Skilled in organizing and supervising multiple specialized crews, Kustom was able to coordinate teams of 40+ working in two 12-hour cycles. A total of four experienced supervisors were assigned to each shift to manage crews assigned to opposite ends of the facility. Before any section of the facility was officially completed, the crew supervisor would cross check the area before moving to the next task. This strategy enabled Kustom to maintain continuous progress and meet the 72-hour deadline.

Water Damage

Kustom’s water mitigation team employed state-of-the-art technology to assure work was completed in accordance with the IICRC S500. Infrared cameras were used to locate all points of water intrusions to porous building materials. Moisture mapping and thorough documentation were conducted before any selective demolitions were undertaken. Once water extraction and demolitions were complete, an all-natural, plant based anti-microbial was applied to prevent any mold growth. And all work was conducted

Electrical Challenges

With electrical power cut off in the most affected areas, and the HVAC system damaged in the fire, Kustom worked closely with Baxter’s electrical and HVAC teams to get power flowing to necessary equipment throughout the building.

Smoke Odor

To eliminate smoke odor, Kustom elected to run Hydroxyl generators throughout the 72-hour process. Unlike other methods which require personnel evacuation, Hydroxyl technology has proven to be safe for workers. HEPA air scrubbers were utilized to remove contaminates, particles, and also combat smoke odor.

Cleaning Challenges

Once the water mitigation team was finished, and fire-damaged debris was properly discarded off site, Kustom’s structural cleaning crews were tasked with cleaning all surfaces throughout the 100,000 square foot facility. The scope of work included all ceilings, walls, floors, carpeting, fixtures, air registers, shelving, office furniture, workstations, tools, tool boxes, housings, plus all facility contents. Based on Kustom’s experience in similar scenarios, the decision was made to conduct cleaning by hand using a combination of both wet and dry methods. This painstaking process was executed by four different crews stationed strategically throughout the facility. Crews were rotated every 12 hours to allow teams the appropriate rest needed to ensure safety and productivity. Every 11 hours, a new team of supervisors arrived to get a full update with current supervisors. These one-hour meetings before shift changes were vital to achieve the goals set for each 12-hour cycle. Since the assembly floor was a static-free zone, Kustom had to ensure no medical products were comprised. After selecting the most skilled cleaning technicians, Kustom coordinated an on-site training session with Baxter’s assembly supervisor. With proper Haz-Mat gear and constant supervision, the static-free zones were thoroughly cleaned without incident.

The Result

Mission completed within budget. Through strategic planning and mobilization of topnotch teams, Kustom was able to get Baxter operational within the requested 72- hour target. The entire scope of work was completed within the original estimate with no price changes. Equally important the clean-up met the high standards required to satisfy stringent Health

Let us restore your property, prosperity, and peace of mind.

Get Started