First responders continue to deal with Lynchburg candle store fire 72 hours later

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg Fire Chief Greg Wormser says the blaze that engulfed the Cottage Stillroom and candle factory was accidental, but the investigation into the causes of Friday’s inferno is ongoing.

Firefighters were back on Cabell Street on Monday to examine the scene.

Wormser says they found a hot spot on the top floor of the four-story structure and spent about an hour pouring more water over it.

“We will periodically check the building as these hot spots can develop over time as the wind picks up,” Wormser said.

Wormser says Friday’s fire was an accident, but the investigation is ongoing.

“It all leads to the fact of some sort of problem with the manufacturing or testing process, which the owners of the company were doing as part of their normal production.”

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He says the call came in around 5.50pm that evening, and by the time first responders arrived the fire had already made its way into the elevator shaft and had a clear path to the roof.

“This building was up to code. It didn’t require a sprinkler system like some other buildings, and that’s based on its occupancy and type of construction,” Wormser said.

He tells 10 News that when first responders showed up, they had no problem accessing water, then officials ran into trouble when the second truck arrived.

‘We were trying to get more water than we could get out of a single hydrant, so we had to change tactics and go to a hydrant a bit further down Cabell Street and then on the other side of Point d’honneur in order to get a better situation with the water flow,” said Wormser.

He thinks the interior is a total loss but hopes the exterior can be revitalized.

A business owner, known as DiDi, was inside the building at the time and suffered minor injuries, but did not need to be taken to hospital.

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The owner’s cat, Sadie, survived the flames and was found on Saturday.

“They discovered the cat hiding under furniture and they were able to get him to safety. So it was just a huge joy for them to be able to reunite the owner and the cat together,” Wormser said.

We spoke to a family friend on Monday who told us, coincidentally, that she and another friend each started a GoFundMe; and they didn’t know the other was creating an online campaign.

So there are two fundraisers, and you can find them here and here.

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Elizabeth J. Harris