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Fire devours Exeter business

Frank Cunius lost his woodworking business and apartment in the fire. The cause had not been determined.

Firefighters work to control heavy flames that destroyed a woodworking business on the corner of Lincoln and Park streets in the Exeter Borough on Tuesday evening. The owner, Frank Cunius, lived in an upstairs apartment above his 30-year-old business known for interior church work at 317 Lincoln St. Nobody was injured in the blaze.

S. JOHN WILKIN/THE TIMES LEADER

EXETER – Frank Cunius watched his home and 30-year-old woodworking business burn to the ground Tuesday evening.

“I lost everything,” said Cunius, owner of Frank Cunius Woodworking and Restoration, 317 Lincoln St., known for interior church work. “All I have is what I’ve learned.”

Firefighters responded just before 6 p.m. to the fire that devoured the two-story structure at Lincoln and Park streets in Exeter Borough.

Several dozen firefighters and about a dozen apparatus were called to battle the inferno. They were still on the scene late Tuesday night.

An American flag that had been adorning the front door of the business was removed to protect it from the flames. Yellow crime scene tape surrounded the burning structure. About a block of both streets was closed off, and traffic was detoured.

Cunius, who lives in an apartment upstairs, said he was at a friend’s house when he received a call about his place on fire. When he first got there only the back of the business was on fire.

“Thank God nobody was working,” said Cunius, as he stood across the street from his business watching firefighters dousing the heavy flames. “Thank God it wasn’t at night, because I never would have gotten out of it.”

Firefighters were able to save Cunius’ dog that was found underneath a desk.

No injuries were reported.

Cunius said he employed three people in the business.

The closest building is about 30 feet away, and while it wasn’t threatened by flames, the residents evacuated as a precaution.

A neighbor, Lori Becker, 40, who was standing outside with her husband and two children, lives next to the business at 315 Lincoln St.

“Someone came to our door and said there was a fire next door,” Becker said. “I picked up the phone and called 911. Someone had already called.”

Borough Fire Chief Richard McNeil said firefighters had a difficult time battling the blaze because of loss of water pressure.

“We had a car parked on a fire hose on the next street over. I don’t know what happened to our water supply,” McNeil said.

The cause of fire was not immediately known as of late Tuesday.

Cunius, who lives in an apartment upstairs, said he was at a friend’s house when he received a call about his place on fire.

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