UPDATE 11/4/2013 12:20 PM
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - Mister Bee Potato Chip Company is recovering after suffering from a fire in their deep fryer in April.
Renovations have been made as well, as the company invested over $1.5 million in upgrades and another $1 million in a new fryer.
While the company was waiting for the repairs another chip maker made the Mister Bee brand.
Also, West Virginia Potato Chip recently signed a contract with Pennsylvania-based Snyder's of Hanover to distribute Mister Bee potato chips throughout West Virginia and new areas in Ohio and Kentucky.
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A fire broke out in the Mister Bee Potato Chip Co. plant about 2:00 Tuesday afternoon.
Chief Eric Taylor of the Parkersburg Fire Department says the fire appears to be accidental and only the potato chip fryer was affected.
It started on the fryer's surface oil and traveled through the range chimney. There was only a little smoke inside, no damage to the buildings and no one was injured.
“When we arrived we found a fire in the fryer cooking area. The fire is under control at this time. It appears that we've contained it to the cooking equipment. The building was evacuated and the utilities were shut off as a precaution,” Taylor says.
The chief says he doesn't have a dollar amount on the loss yet because the fryer is a pretty specialized piece of equipment.
The building's owner told Taylor he needs to determine whether he can have it repaired or replaced.
It will probably take a couple of days to know the extent of the damage and when Mister Bee can start frying up those chips again.
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