Devastating Building Fire Threatens Worldwide Vinyl Record Industry


A devastating fire in Southern California this past week may have a huge impact on the vinyl record sale. According to reports, a massive fire erupted at a manufacturing and storage facility in Banning, California. We’ve learned that the facility belonged to longtime company Apollo Masters. The company is widely responsible for producing the lacquer used for making many of our favorite vinyl records. Luckily, no one was injured during the blaze but the fire will likely impact the global sale of vinyl records.

“We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time.” 

Again, The Desert Sun has reported that no employees were hurt during the fire on February 6th. Still, the facility is said to be completely destroyed. Ben Blackwell, co-founder of Third Man Records, told Pitchfork that there are only two companies that produce lacquer. Supposedly, the second company in Japan has always struggled to keep up with demand. Now, the last remaining company is on its own until Apollo Masters can get back on their feet.

We’re unsure how large Apollo Master’s facility was that caught fire and how much-stored lacquer was destroyed. If only one company is able to produce lacquer, there definitely will be a dramatic impact on vinyl record sales. That means your vinyl collection could be worth a lot more in the coming months. In addition, it’s said that Apollo Masters played a key role in the vinyl pressing process. Unfortunately, Blackwell believes this incident will affect everyone in the vinyl record industry,

Cause of Fire

At the moment, there’s no word on what caused the three-alarm fire to erupt. Cal Fire Capt. Fernando Herrera said in an interview that “There wasn’t any one spot you could say wasn’t on fire.” He also stated that there were reports of explosions when the fire erupted, likely due to the chemicals in the facility. In all, it took 82 firefighters nearly three hours to extinguish the blaze before it had any chance to spread to nearby establishments.