Fire Waxes PA Factory

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 @ 08:01 AM gHale

Firefighters battled a blaze for hours Sunday afternoon at an industrial building housing a wax factory in Schuylkill Township, PA.

The call came in just after 11 a.m. for a fully involved fire at Material Dynamics LLC, Tuscarora Assistant Fire Chief Ryan Slane said at the scene.

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“Fire and smoke was coming out of the roof upon immediate arrival,” Slane said. “Unfortunately, the weather and the materials in the building provided challenges.”

The building was an old sewing factory converted into a wax factory, said Mike Miller and Ben Vesta, owners of the business. They made rosin and resin used in the wax industry, Miller said.

“The firefighters and everyone here did a tremendous job containing the fire to the building itself so it didn’t spread,” Miller said. “They need to be recognized for that. And no one got hurt.”

Firefighters had most of the flames knocked down about 1 p.m., but were still dousing the building with water. The brick walls were the only part of the building not completely destroyed. Forklifts and other equipment were almost unrecognizable under all the black ash.

“I’d say it’s a total loss,” Slane said.

Slane said the cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Miller and Vesta said no one was working in the building over the weekend and they were the last to leave Friday. They said all the equipment was off and the doors remained locked Sunday.

“We had a good, viable business and we just lost it all,” Vesta said.

They were renting the building and had limited insurance. The owner of the building is Candle Wax LLC.

Vesta said he wants to rebuild, if possible, after finding a new temporary location for the business.