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Wild Fires Hamper Sony, Gateway Operations

New York – The wild fires ravaging southern California forced Sony Electronics to close its Ranch Bernardo facility and the flames threatened Gateway’s Poway headquarters, but that firm’s offices remain open today.

A Sony spokesman said the company’s campus was not directly threatened by the fire, but the local authorities encouraged Sony to send its workers home today because the smoky conditions in the area created an unhealthy atmosphere. Sony’s Rancho Bernardo offices handle manufacturing and corporate functions. A security guard at the scene said the buildings were full of smoke and the guards were wearing protective masks.

The spokesman said Sony will have to wait and see if it can open for business tomorrow. The facility operated with a reduced staff on Oct. 27 because many workers could not get to work due to the fires.

Gateway’s headquarters, which is located about six miles south of Sony off of Interstate 15 was open for business, but many of its employees were working from home, a spokeswoman said. She added that the flames came quite close to the facility yesterday, but no damage was done.