When a careless or just plain tired guest sets his or her hotel room on fire in the height of the Myrtle Beach tourist season, it’s critical for hotel owners to be able to get that room cleaned, odor-free, and ready to be rented 24 hours later. Sound impossible? A&I Fire & Water Restoration, which started as a carpet cleaning company, does it all the time.

Moving swiftly to respond to emergency loss in residential or commercial is A&I’s business, and “efficiency is absolutely key to our success,” says president Daniel Isaac (right, with William Alford on the left). An in-house quality assurance program and regular updating of technicians’ skills — as of January, for instance, all had been trained in lead-safe renovation — have enabled A&I to remain a leader in the Carolinas. Extensive involvement in volunteer activities and boards is characteristic of A&I and its executives. But that wouldn’t count for much if the company was not known as “the first call [the property owner] makes to get something cleaned.”

- Jim Cory