EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – The new year started with a big disappointment for a family owned business that caught fire in East Palestine on Thursday.
O.T. Beight & Sons & Daughters on State Route 170 makes tombstones, grave markers and memorials.
During lunchtime, Eric Beight heard crackling, looked outside and saw the shop on fire. He called 911 on his cell phone.
“We were burning wood in the shop for 120 years and never had a problem. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know, I can’t figure it out,” he said.
Eric was amazed that the first fire department arrived within seven minutes. The shop was on fire and the flames were starting to burn close to the house, but firefighters kept them away.
“The shop where the memorial stones were was a total loss,” said East Palestine fire chief Joshua Brown.
No one was in the shop at the time.
O.T. Beight and Sons has been in business since 1897. You may have seen the commercial on WKBN where Eric introduces his daughter Carly who will become the 5th generation of the family business.
Beight said no current clients will be impacted by the fire.
“Every stone that was completed was outside the shop… I had three to four new stones that were going to be done. I’m going to have to replace them. They don’t hold up to heat. They’re in pieces. Never seen granite burn before, but they’re in pieces,” Ryan said.
The stones may be in pieces but the business is not. Beight lost some computer files, and knows he can replace the stones.
The fire marshal has already been called in.
“To assist with the cause and origin, as well as to cover the business owner with a high-dollar loss,” Brown said.
O.T. Beight & Sons & Daughters has to replace supplies it uses to decorate the granite and marble, plus its supplies. However, the family legacy will continue.
The company has another location in Boardman.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story had the incorrect name for the business’s owner. We regret the error.