Fire destroys Wendell August Forge shops in Grove City
A fire Saturday destroyed the historic Wendell August Forge workshop and gift shop in Grove City, company officials said.
The fire started in the workshop where staff spray a lacquer on all of the company’s bronze pieces. Nobody was injured, company officials said.
“It has been a tough day for this community and our employees,” Will Knecht, president of Wendell August, said in a news release. “We are so thankful and blessed that no one was hurt.”
Wendell August Forge makes hand-hammered metal giftware, such as jewelry, plates and ornaments. It was established in 1923 and had operated out of the Grove City workshop since 1932. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, company officials said.
Knecht said he hopes to rebuild the workshop.
“We plan to rebuild as soon as possible to provide our customers and the people of this region with the workshop and gift shop they have come to know and love,” he said.
Wendell August has crafted customized pieces of art for some of the biggest companies in the world, including Coca-Cola, Hershey, Walt Disney, Pizza Hut, Westfield Insurance, MetLife, Southwest Airlines, Giant Eagle and Wal-Mart, company officials said.
Business operations at other facilities will continue as usual, officials said.