Blaze brings setback to Keeley Electronics

BY MICHAEL KIMBALL AND MATT DINGER Modified: January 16, 2009 at 7:30 am •  Published: January 16, 2009
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EDMOND — Keeley Electronics, a company that builds electric guitar pedals for musicians around the world, lost its inventory and workspace in a fire Thursday afternoon, a company spokesman said.

"I’m pretty sure it’ll be a total loss as far as parts and inventory,” said Dusty Wayne Nelson, lead technician and a six-year employee. "We’re a company that makes over $4 million in a year with 15 employees.”

Keeley Electronics has made pedals for The Flaming Lips, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, ZZ Top, Death Cab for Cutie, Wilco and dozens of other musicians since 2001, he said.

It only took about an hour for seven years of work to be destroyed.

Firefighters responded to the blaze about 3:30 p.m. and found the building on the southeast corner of Interstate 35 and Waterloo Road engulfed in flames, Edmond Assistant Fire Chief Tim Wheeler said. Cold, windy conditions complicated efforts to extinguish the fire, Wheeler said.

No injuries were reported, fire officials said.

"I think we can be up and running again in no less than two months. I’m not worried about the company. I’m worried about the employees,” Nelson said.

‘We’ll get through it’
Nelson said a woodworking and cabinetry business also was damaged in the fire.

The bottom floor was formerly occupied by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church. However, Nelson said the congregation moved out in late 2007 or early 2008.

"It’s going to be tough, but we’ll get through it,” Nelson said.

Robert Keeley started Keeley Electronics from his Oklahoma City home in 2001.