WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM)- A gel candle is likely the cause of a fire that damaged a local dance studio. Now, the owner wants others to be aware of the dangers.
"What happened was, I blew the candle out. We were here for about 1/2 hour after we blew it out. It was still smoldering and I didn't know that," says owner Mark Tetro.
It happened Wednesday night after a photo shoot at the studio. "We lit the candles for affect. So, normally we don't light them."
Tetro went home that night and didn't discover the fire until the next morning. "When I opened the doors, I was overcome by black smoke. I called the fire department."
Thanks to a fire retardant material on the walls, the fire didn't burn through the building. But, there was extensive damage inside the studio. The Wyoming fire investigator says it likely started with the gel candle. The flammable decorative material around it quickly caught on fire.
There have been several recalls of gel candles by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The earliest was in 1998 when Glade brand gel candles were recalled due to a "high" flame. The other recalls were due to similar issues with a higher than usual flame.
In Tetro's case, the candle was a gift and he doesn't know where it was made. He wants others to be careful. The fire could have been much worse. "We hope, by the end of next week, we'll be open for business."