FORT WORTH, Texas - Employees of Comfort Experts Inc. pulled together when a train derailment caused three rail cars to hit the company's Fort Worth offices on Jan. 29. Operations were relocated to the company's Weatherford facility and service calls were answered just hours after the disaster that occurred at 7:20 a.m.

"Our first concern is for the safety of our employees," said Brett Hobson, Comfort Experts CEO.

"We thank God that no one was in the building at the time of impact. After that, our focus shifted to making sure our customers didn't experience any inconvenience as a result of this incident. We're making every effort to make the transition as seamless as possible."

Executives and staff members of Comfort Experts worked around the clock to establish a temporary office and get ready for business on the following Monday morning, Feb. 2. According to Hobson, a minimum of 1,000 man-hours were needed to complete the transition.

Operations at Comfort Experts do not begin unit 8 a.m., but several employees were on their way to work when the derailment occurred.

"We feel very fortunate that this didn't happen 10 minutes later," said Hobson. "It would have been tragic. Buildings can be replaced, lives can't. To us, this has been just an inconvenience, a huge, expensive inconvenience, sure, but still just an inconvenience."

Publication date: 02/23/2004