The Pukas surfboard factory on the outskirts of San Sebastian was ablaze this afternoon, as reported in Diario Vasco.
We’re pleased to report all staff were said to have been evacuated safely, although four firefighters had to be treated for smoke inhalation.
First reported around 5pm, firefighters were still tackling the blaze hours later, after it spread to neighbouring units in the industrial park.
The factory, which makes boards under the Pukas brand (as ridden by Gabriel Medina) as well as Channel Islands and …Lost in Europe is one of – if not the biggest – in Europe.
The cause of the blaze is still unclear, although temperatures of 37 degrees in the Basque Country are unlikely to have helped.
Chris Christensen, in Europe on a shaping tour said via his IG:
“I had just laid the last shape of my day down upstairs at the @pukassurf factory in Spain and heard fire alarms thru the loud noises of operating shaping machines, various stereos, and noticed nobody was around. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the girls from the office start screaming at me in Spanish from a distance and I just took that as run as I only had seconds to navigate out of the largest surfboard factory in Europe. Flames were running along the walls and floors rapidly igniting everything in their path as I was one of the last to get out.”
“It was a miracle that all 30+ of us made it out of the factory just before 100% of the building was engulfed in flames. It took 25 minutes before the first fire crew arrived. All we could do is watch this fire from a distance take the whole factory down along with surrounding buildings. It was so sad to see the tears of the owners and staff who have put 40+ years of their heart and souls into this business… The @pukassurf crew is tough as nails and they’ll be back in the lineup soon, stronger than ever…… Life is precious, and business is just only business.”
Our thoughts are all the Pukas family at this difficult time.