Alpha Fire Unlimited was founded by Frank O. Rheinisch. Frank was a hard-working immigrant who escaped from East Germany with his family and the clothes on his back at the age of 10. Following high school, college and service in Vietnam, he worked for several large sprinkler companies in the San Francisco Bay area, Fresno and finally in San Luis Obispo, he was a one man show. He had experience bidding projects, designing the systems and putting them in. Thus, he knew all sides of a fire protection company quite intimately.
He began Alpha Fire Unlimited in May 1990 in his home. The first offices were at 777 Woodbridge St. in San Luis Obispo. In 1993 we moved into an old diary distribution building on Sweeney Lane where we currently remain. His license, which hangs in the entry of the building was signed on the day his second son, Cristian, was born.
Since all fire sprinkler systems need an alarm system, Frank opened Alpha Fire Security and Alarm in 1998. The company designs and installs all types of fire and security systems in both new and existing buildings.
Alpha Fire Sprinkler provides the systems for commercial buildings. In 2003 when it became law that all new homes would also need fire sprinkler systems Alpha Fire Residential Corp. was established. While we still have a thriving residential division, all sprinkler work is now done under the Alpha Fire Sprinkler Corp. banner. We also have a service division that inspects and repairs all fire sprinkler systems.
The year 2012, San Luis Fire Extinguishers Corp. was added to provide and service fire extinguishers and hood systems. We are now only one of a very few companies to offer all of the fire protection services.
The company celebrated the 20 year milestone May 2010. Our company does business all over the state of California and has designed a system for an ice skating rink in Russia. We do large and small projects—hospitals, schools, federal penitentiaries, wineries, motels and Hearst Castle among many others.
A respected member of his profession, Frank was elected as a board member of the California American Fire Sprinkler Association which created the curriculum for the sprinkler fitters’ apprenticeship program.
In the fall of 2009, Frank was diagnosed with an inoperable malignant brain tumor (glioblastoma). Approaching his 65th birthday, he passed away on June 6, 2010 leaving behind his wife of 33 years, Diana, and two sons, Erik and Cristian. They were 27 and 20 years respectively at the time of their father’s passing. Frank’s employees planted a tree and plaque at the front of the offices in his memory. We all experienced a profound loss but have committed ourselves to continuing to follow in his footsteps.
Erik is a Cal Poly graduate in Industrial Technology and was working for his father when he was called upon to immediately assume responsibility for the three companies and 30+ employees. He oversees all of the day to day operations of Alpha Fire Unlimited. He is the COO and Vice President. He was elected to take his father’s position on the CAFSA board of directors. You will find him in the front office daily unless on a project or away for a meeting.
Diana’s spent 40 years in the field of education—teaching elementary school, adult school and the last seventeen years as an instructor in the School of Education at Cal Poly training new teachers. She now serves as President of Alpha Fire Unlimited and is in the office frequently.
Frank began a company based on integrity and honesty. He strived to provide the best service and quality for our customers. He was committed to treating his employees as family. We invite you to join us in our commitment to carrying his goal forward and we hope that you will grow in your profession and enjoy your time with us.
Diana C. Rheinisch, President
Erik C. Rheinisch, Vice-President