Kentucky Candle Factory was hiring 110 people working indoors when tornado hit


  • Some 110 people were working at Mayfield Consumer Products in Kentucky when the building collapsed Friday night.
  • The family business manufactures branded candles and home fragrance products.
  • About 40 people were rescued from the rubble.

A Kentucky candle factory, where workers were trapped when extreme tornadoes ravaged the area, was looking to hire more workers and was operating a second shift with more than 100 people in the building when inclement weather struck.

About 40 people have been rescued from the rubble, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said at a press conference on Saturday. About 110 people were working at the facility when the storms hit and at least 70 people are believed to have died statewide, he said.

The factory – owned by Mayfield Consumer Products, a family-owned company that makes branded candles and home fragrance products – has been one of the hardest hit locations as tornadoes and inclement weather hit several states Friday night, causing catastrophic damage.

According to local reports, crews were at the Mayfield plant scene early Saturday to rescue workers trapped among the ruins. Video from Mayfield shows the town partially leveled by inclement weather.

Callie Lemle, wife of Graves County Economic Development President Jason Lemle, told WPSD Local 6 she didn’t know how many people were trapped, but said people were digging through the rubble to free trapped personnel. She said help was needed and encouraged volunteers to come and bring gloves, headlamps and supplies.

In a poignant video posted to Facebook, Mayfield employee Kyanna Lou documented her experience of being trapped behind a wall with several co-workers after the roof collapsed.

“I’m really scared, I try to be cool, but I’m really scared,” Lou says in the video. She was then saved.

Mayfield Consumer Products was founded in 1988 by the Propes family and is led by CEO Troy Propes. The company, which generates an estimated annual turnover of $ 28.97 million, employs more than 245 people and manufactures candles and perfumes for several brands.

The company has a number of violations listed on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website from a September 2019 inspection, including citations for lack of electrical protective equipment and respiratory protection. Mayfield also has a violation for lack of “maintenance, warranties and operational features for the exit lanes,” OSHA records indicate.

Mayfield Consumer Products did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

On its website, the company said it was hiring, with “lots of openings” for production jobs on the first and second shifts.

In 2018, the company announced it would invest $ 8.3 million in the development that would create more than 50 jobs. The effort was praised by former Kentucky governor Matt Bevin, who said at the time that the work “would give a significant boost to the local economy.”

“Mayfield Consumer Products has been a great employer and strong corporate citizen over the past 20 years, and we are grateful for the company’s decision to continue to grow here in Kentucky,” Bevin said in a statement. 2018.


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