Commercial Fyr-Fyter is owned by David Harrison and was formerly owned by both his father, who purchased the business 63 years ago, and grandfather, who managed it after David’s father was offered a job at DuPont. When his grandfather’s failing health left David’s father trying to operate the business around his job schedule, David chose to leave his job and become the owner/manager of the company in October 1980.
When David took over the business, it was hanging on with just a couple employees and little cash flow. So, he rolled up his sleeves, got to work, and left the rest in God’s hands! He grew the business by starting each division from scratch, learning the service himself, acquiring and completing service for the customers, then continuing to do the work until it reached a scale where it could support an additional employee. Then, he would start over with another service. Through this method, he grew the hood cleaning division, the fire suppression division, and kept expanding his team and capabilities until it reached its current success.
“I give God the credit for all this company has been able to do,” David shared. “It has always been about what God wants, not what I want, and He has provided everything.”
Today Commercial Fyr-Fyter has 18 employees and offers comprehensive fire protection services, including fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems, fire alarm systems, fire sprinkler systems, exit/emergency lighting, and hood cleaning. The company also handles SCBA and SCUBA hydrotesting in its DOT testing facility.
David first heard about Pye-Barker Fire many years ago, when he would order parts from the company. When he heard about our expansion efforts around 2017, he read up about us and our competitors in the acquisition space while praying about the next steps for his company. Right when he was about to reach out, we announced our acquisition of Greer Supply Co. in Roanoke, Virginia. So David stepped back and waited to see how the acquisition impacted Greer’s owners, employees, and customers.
After being pleased with the way things unfolded after that acquisition, David hired an investment banker he could trust, Jim Mullens with Bundy Group. They sent information about his company to a group of potential sellers. He received written responses from about seven companies, but kept waiting to see which were the most interested.
“When my banker told me Pye-Barker Fire was one of the companies that called, I told him that was it. I did not want to talk to anyone else, I wanted to go with them,” David shared, recalling his banker’s initial hesitation to commit without hearing the other offers.
“As time went on, it kept getting better and better,” David continued. ” My banker told me that in 20 years of doing this business, he has never seen a transaction happen so smoothly and quickly. I know the Lord is the one who guided it and made it happen.”
After 27 years of working for the company together, David and his wife will be retiring. David plans to continue checking in on his team and coming into the office to help his customers and employees remain calm through the transition.
“I just want the company to be successful,” David said. “It’s been a pleasure dealing with everyone from Chuck to Tracy and everyone in between. I don’t regret one thing. It was about taking care of the employees and the customers and I feel sure that is exactly what Pye-Barker is going to do.“PBFS Greensboro’s branch manager Tracy Adams will be overseeing the branch, which will be working closely with his existing team. It is our honor to carry on the legacy of a business built on faith, hard work, and integrity.
Welcome to the family, Commercial Fyr-Fyter! We are fortunate to have you joining the Pye-Barker Fire team!
Pye-Barker is a proud collection of family fire protection companies and has provided many owners with a satisfying exit strategy that provided peace of mind for themselves and their staff. If you would like to learn more about what a future with Pye-Barker would look like for your business, please visit www.pyebarkerfire.com/acquisitions to fill out a confidential form. You can also contact our VP of Business Development, Chuck Reimel, directly at 910-612-6252. We look forward to hearing from you!