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A forgotten candle was the cause of a Saturday afternoon fire at local business The Variety Store, located at 1090 Glensboro Road, Suite 7.
According to City Fire Chief Robert Hume, the city fire department arrived at The Variety Store on Saturday, Sept. 1 at about 2:30 p.m.
Reports filed by Deputy Fire Chief Tim Reed state a candle was left burning Friday night after The Variety Store closed for the Labor Day weekend.
Hume said most of the contents of the suite were destroyed by heat and smoke, but did not have an estimated cost of the damage.
“Pretty much everything in that one unit was destroyed by smoke and heat, windows in there so black you couldn’t see through them,” Hume said.
“When you get that much smoke and heat it just destroys everything.”
According to Hume, there appeared to be no structural damage to the unit. Because The Variety Store shares a common attic with surrounding businesses and offices, Hume said, smoke had to be ventilated from nearby suites. All damage was contained to The Variety Store, he said.
Hume added that the city fire department has responded to several fires involving candles, left to burn down to the wick, starting fires.
The heat of the melted candle often breaks the glass candle jar it’s in, and then ignites whatever material is close by, Hume said, which is what likely happened in Saturday’s fire.
In addition to the city fire department, county fire also assisted at the scene.