THE owner of a candle factory ravaged by fire this week for the second time in 25 years is determined to open for Mother's Day.
Teams of firefighters fought through the night to curb the blaze at Cheshire Workshops candle factory but were unable to contain the heat, which destroyed delicate stock brought in especially for Sunday.
The fire broke out just before midnight on Wednesday and police and fire officers are still investigating the cause of it.
Yesterday boss Roland Houghton said the cost of damage to his Burwardsley business was immeasurable and the premises is unlikely to be fully operational again until Easter.
But although the majority of the factory been affected by smoke damage, staff and their boss are optimistic they will be able to open at least part of the building for Sunday - one of their busiest days of the year.
'The smoke damage is extensive, but the restaurant and the place where the kids make the candles are ok,' said Mr Houghton, who employs about 20 people at the factory. 'Hopefully, if they let us, we'll clean it up and we'll open in a small way on Sunday.'
The overall damage will hinder Mr Houghton's operation for some time.
'It will be devastating for business,' he said, pointing out customers won't be able to contact him as the phone lines had been burned through.
Employee Emma Lea, 30, of Tattenhall, has been making candles for 16 years.
'I got a phone call to say they heard it on the radio. I came down here but they said there wasn't a lot to do. I couldn't believe it. I was shaking.'
Staff at neighbouring pub The Pheasant Inn were the first to notice the fire.
'We locked up at midnight, went to the car park and saw an orange glow,' said pub manager Liz Roberts. 'We went up to see what it was and called the fire brigade.'