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Larry Waltz’s Ohio Pottery store has been reduced to a charred pile of ash and steel.
"I got a phone call at about ten minutes until 9 that the pottery was on fire," Waltz said. "I was at home, so Jamara and I rushed over here and it was in full flames, we opened the door; smoke and flamed were shooting out, and from there, of course, it’s a total loss."
Last night the Falls Township Fire Department responded to the blaze that broke out on the West Pike around 8:30.
Fire Department officials say they had to continue to extinguish hot spots overnight and that the situation is still under investigation.
While officials don’t know what could have caused it, Waltz believes a faulty air conditioning unit could be to blame.
Mini Johnson is a friend of Waltz and has been volunteering at the pottery store for the last four years.
She said she was overcome with emotion when she caught a glimpse of the aftermath.
"I got tears in my eyes, I just couldn’t believe it. I just, I can’t believe it… It’s all gone," said Johnson. "This was his whole life. I mean, What do you do?"
"I lost a pomeranian dog, and I lost a cat and everything," said Waltz. "Plus all my papers from school, photos of my mom and dad, and everything. I had a little memorial here to all veterans, that all burned up… quite a shock. "
Waltz said at 70 years old, he has no plans of rebuilding his store, however he will try to salvage items that were not damaged by the inferno.
But on a day where Americans pay tribute to their service men and women, this Vietnam Veteran must now adjust to life without his business.
"No Insurance, just liability, no insurance on the merchandise, so it’s a major loss to me," added Waltz. "36 years of building the business, and it’s down the tubes."