The historic Sarris Candies of Canonsburg, Pa., caught fire approximately 7 a.m. on Friday. However, the store owner and fire officials said the blaze was contained and it did not cause any severe damage.
The second floor of the building erupted in flames as firefighters were forced to sift through melted chocolate in order to extinguish the fire. The fire apparently started in the ice cream parlor section of the store. After about an hour, the situation appeared under control, according to the Associated Press. There were no injuries reported.
Sarris Candies employees approximately 350 people. Bill Sarris, the owner of the candy store, had to wait in a nearby parking, worrying for the safety of his store. Emergency crews quickly set up a command post and went to work. He began to worry how long he would have to keep his store closed. He expects the store to reopen sometime next week.
At first you think months, then weeks and now it's a couple of days, Sarris said, according to the Associated Press. We keep looking, and it's not as bad as it looked.
Within in minutes, employees and local residents started hearing the news about their iconic store.
I've probably got 20 text messages making sure we're OK, said Lee Mox, an employee of Sarris Candies according to Patch.
Canonsburg Fire Chief Tom Lawrence said there appears to be limited structural damage to the store.
As far as the parlor is concerned, I don't believe there is any damage, Lawrence said, according to the Associated Press. State police and fire marshals are currently investigating the cause of the fire.
This our home. Canonsburg's our home, Sarris said, according to Patch. Pittsburgh's our base and all this community and people around us have supported us for years. We do a lot of stuff, whatever we can, to support the community as well as surrounding areas. The community is as important to us as we are to them.
Sarris Candies is a regional distributor of candy sold in stores across the country. The stores feature a giant chocolate castle and stuffed animals on display. The store has been a tourist attraction for decades. According to the website, Sarris Candies earns about $30 million a year.
This is a huge landmark, said Linda Cooley, who works at Sarris Candy, reported Patch. My kids walk down here in the summer at least once a day and get penny candy. This is where they bring their friends.