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Monroe County candle company suffers second fire

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 17 2014 05:05:49 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 18 2014 06:20:02 AM CST

Monroe County candle company suffers second fire

BARRET TWP., Pa. -

A candle maker in Monroe County is reeling from its second fire in seven years, and the owners aren't sure they can rebuild again.

Neighbors of Mountainhome Candle Company, in Barrett Township say the flames burst out of the factory and warehouse building early Saturday morning.

"The flames were just coming out of the garage door," said Ray Cawilski, owner of Mountainhome Deli. "It looked like you were looking into a furnace. I mean it was hot."

"I got a call from my neighbor across the street at the deli, Ray," added Chuck Knipe, owner of Mountainhome Candle company. "He called me and just said Chuck I don't know how to tell you, I forget the exact words, but he said your place is on fire."

This is the second time Chuck Knipe has lost a building due to fire. He still has a picture of the November 2006 blaze, believed to have started accidentally.

Knipe says he's feeling the same sense of loss.

"Probably even stronger," Knipe adds. "You just think how could it happen again. How many people have one fire, let alone two."

These scented oil cans cost $500 each. The owners say it would cost $500,000 to replace the building, but there were also things inside the building that money can’t buy.

"There were other personal items in here that are lost," said Knipe. "Things from my late parents that were in here that are gone."

Investigators are still searching the scene, but Knipe says he was told that snow may have collapsed the roof and then punctured and ignited a propane line. Chuck Knipe says after a bad experience with the insurance company after the first fire, he decided not to insure this building.

"I kind of gambled and lost because like I said most people don't have one fire, let alone two," added Knipe.

Knipe and his wife are not sure if they will rebuild again. For now they will run the retail store that wasn't damaged during the blaze.