EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WYTV) – In an upstairs room of an insurance agency in Wellsville, Ohio which W.C. Bunting Company still owns, employees were busy Monday clearing out space, to set up a temporary office after a devastating fire burned down Bunting’s pottery label operation Friday.
Officials still have not determined what caused a fire at the well-known East Liverpool ceramics plant early Friday morning.
Company owners tell WYTV they plan to rebuild, although it might take some time.
“So we can coordinate current orders in house and see what we can do about that and for the future,” Office Manager Anna Vaughn said.
Owner Patrick O’Hara has been busy taking phone calls on his cell phone, until new phone lines can be installed.
Customer service worker Kim Rawson said it has been overwhelming for everyone involved.
“We are just trying to keep it together, and you know still be the team that we always have been you know, you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone,” Rawson said.
W.C. Bunting must re-establish an art department, printing capabilities as well as firing capabilities for the ceramics they sell around the world.
“The shipping department is gone, the printing department is gone so until we figure out a way to get that back up and running we can only do what we already had on hand,” W.C. Bunting President Terry O’Hara said.
Company officials said they are not sure whether they are going to rebuild their old building or not, but did say they are looking at all their options.
They are currently waiting for the insurance company to finish their investigation to let them know what they can do. Meanwhile, the Columbiana County Port Authority has offered up space in a nearby building.
“We can put them in get them in easy and let them get worked out, cause we want to preserve the jobs, we want to keep that name going,” Columbiana County Port Authority CEO Tracy Drake said.
O’Hara said he hopes to get back up and running as soon as possible to help his 34 employees, who he says are like family to him, keep a job.