David’s Dream Part 4: Quick Thinking

In David’s Dream Part 3 featured in April’s newsletter, we shared how David Einstein took COFCO to greater heights during the 1960’s. In David’s Dream Part 4, we’ll tell you about a time when David’s quick thinking and decisive action helped a client get through a major disaster.

On August 17th, 1975 at 12:45 am, a major fire erupted at Philadelphia’s Gulf Oil Refinery – a fire that nearly obliterated the huge, sprawling complex. 

The fire was caused by a tank being overfilled. Too much hydrocarbon vapor was trapped above the crude oil. Vapors were forced out through the tank vents reaching the nearby boiler house where the first spark ignited.

11 alarms and 10 days later, the fire was extinguished. 7 firefighters had lost their lives and 14 more were burned or injured as they tried to rescue those caught in the blaze.  The devastation was awful, rocking Philadelphians to their core. The Gulf Oil Refinery was reeling and desperately trying to cope.  A new command center had to be set up to house staff dealing with recovery operations.

Gulf Oil Refinery Fire PHiladelphia 1975
David Einstein made a cold call to Gulf Oil, leaving a message offering to furnish their temporary office with rental furniture immediately, taking care of one of their immediate logistical needs.

His call was soon returned and within hours installers were delivering furniture under the cloud of smoke still hanging over the fire ravaged area, helping Gulf Oil get back to work dealing with their recovery operations.

Once the clean-up and rebuilding took place, David received another call from Gulf Oil placing an order for new furniture to replace what was destroyed in the fire.

Keeping David’s values as an integral part of who we are, COFCO has serviced many prominent clients over the years—many becoming loyal longstanding supporters. There are so many great stories of how we won accounts,  and all that COFCO does  to keep them.

Many of these fine efforts have been rewarded  with accolades that clients  have given COFCO team members in literally hundreds of letters and emails over the years.  Some of the well-known accounts that we serviced for decades include Franklin Mint, QVC, Villanova University, Lockheed Martin, Rohm and Haas, National Freight (NFI), Day and Zimmermann, University of Pennsylvania Health Systems,  AtlantiCare, Philadelphia Newspapers, Morgan Lewis & Bockius law firm, Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co., Crozer Health Systems, Independence Blue Cross, and so many more.

Though David is no longer with us, having passed away on Friday, December 5th, 2014, COFCO continues to strive to fulfill his dream: a COFCO that is a stalwart Philadelphia institution upholding the values of service, integrity and honor.

In coming issues, we will tell you about how David’s dream continues to live on.