Sixty-foot flames were just minutes away from engulfing the headquarters and warehouse of San Diego-based RoadRunner Sports. But the athletic shoes cataloger was given a reprieve.
It was 2:30 in the afternoon on Sunday, Oct. 26, and CEO/ “chief runner” Michael Gotfredson was on the roof of RoadRunner’s headquarters with a hose to ward off the embers. Fifteen minutes later, however, the company’s luck changed thanks to Mother Nature. “At right around a quarter of three, the wind shifted,” Gotfredson recalls. “Wildfires had never been a problem before in 20 years of business. This is a once-in-a-20-year deal.”
Gotfredson says he can’t complain since the company came out of the experience undamaged, and employees were shaken up, though unharmed physically and financially. “Miraculously, out of 300 employees, nobody’s home burned,” he says. “A number were evacuated, though.”
The wildfire did, however, disrupt the company’s delivery schedule, holding up orders by 48 hours due to two lost days of work, with no orders taken over the phone and no shipping on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. To keep customers apprised of the situation, the company put notes explaining the delay in packages, posted information on the Website, and a recorded a message about the wildfire for those calling its toll-free number.