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Boxing Day fire destroys Big Image factory in Adelaide

It is with great shock and sadness that we report a fire, started around 9pm on Boxing Day, December 26th has gutted one of South Australia's most respected wide format printers, Big Image of Hindmarsh, Adelaide. Wide format online visited Carlo and his son Deon Capogreco's new premises only 18 months ago, and previously in 2013 when Big Image installed Adelaide's first 5 metre UV printer from Fujifilm.

 BigIMage fire
 Big Image, Adelaide fire - fire crews could not enter building for fear of collapse (ABC photo)

When Wideformat Online visited Big Image, Hindmarsh, Adelaide in April 2019, Carlo Capogreco's company was in buoyant mood, having just installed the latest Gerber/MTC table cutter in new, larger premises. Over 60 industry people including visitors from the USA and other states partied with the Capogreco family and staff in what was a wonderful celebration of the company's growth and success.

BIG Group
Happier time - Carlo(R) and Deon(3rd from R) Capogreco, with suppliers, April 2019

Over the 2020 Christmas break, the devastating news arrived that Big Image had been destroyed by fire, on the evening of December 26th. Police and fire investigators are currently investigating the cause.

The ABC in Adelaide reported:

Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) and police crews were called to the business on Orsmond Street at Hindmarsh just after 9:30pm on Saturday.

The MFS described the fire as "large" and said it took 38 firefighters and several hours to bring the blaze under control.

Significant structural damage was caused to the building, along with adjoining properties — although MFS crews were able to save neighbouring businesses from being completely destroyed.

"Fire's contained but has severely damaged the business and continues to burn," the MFS tweeted on Saturday night.

"MFS crews aren't able to enter the burning premises, instead battling defensively from outside."

The national boradcaster continues:

Firefighters are today monitoring the site for hotspots and to keep watch over the unstable structure.

The co-owner of the printing business, Deon Capogreco, said there was $2 million of stock and machinery on the premises.

"It's completely devastating obviously … it's hard to put into words," Mr Capogreco said.

"At the moment, all I can think about is our employees."

"I don't know where to begin from here, from scratch. Which is what we're going to do."

Plan to rebuild

Capogreco told the ABC: "The business has twelve employees, and had only moved into the building at Hindmarsh 18 months ago.

"We've built a really good business here … we've made really good friends in the industry that we work in, and I know that they will support us," he said. "We started as a two-person operation not that long ago, and it had grown rapidly, with a lot of hard work.

Call-out to suppliers for help rebuilding

The morning after - Big Image is gutted inside

The signage and display industry has a great record in helping fellow companies in genuine distress. Big Image had recently added an HP R2000 flatbed Latex to its machine list and also operated HP Latex roll and the Fujifilm 5 metre roll-to-roll machine and the large Gerber table cutter. It looks like all will be lost and un-recoverable, along with the stocks of vinyls, films, boards and other substrates.

Wideformat Online extends its heartfelt sympathies to all at Big Image and sends this call-out to their suppliers to help them get going again in early 2021.

If you have any ideas or offers of help for Big Image, please email them to andy@wideformatonline.com and we will pass them on.