You know those red plastic cups you see at tailgate parties all the time. The Solo Cup Company has become synonymous with these types of cups to the point people call any type of plastic party cup a “Solo Cup”. It’s the pinnacle of branding when your brand name becomes the name of choice for a particular product much like Band-Aid, Q-Tip or Kleenex has dominated in its space. So why should tailgaters and especially beer pong playing tailgaters be concerned about a possible cup shortage? Because a large fire that required 155 firefighters to extinguish the blaze recently ripped through the Chicago Solo Cup manufacturing plant.
Chicago Sun-Times: Extra-alarm fire extinguished at SW Side factory
Southtown Star: Extra-alarm fire hits Solo Cup
CBS 2 Chicago: Fire Rips Through Solo Cup Plant On Southwest Side
The fire broke out approximately at 4:20 am on Wednesday, November 4, 2009. 200 Solo Cup Company employees were working in the building at the time the fire started. All were evacuated and all were unharmed. The fire burned for about 45 minutes before fire fighters deemed it under control. There was extensive damage to the facility and all 200 employees who were evacuated were sent home.
There is no telling how much damage was suffered to the facility and how it will affect cup production in the near future. But in the mean time, if you are a tailgater and/or beer pong player who likes to use this brand of cups, you might look into stocking up before the stores run out.