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Corbeil company's fireplaces burn gelled fuel.

Corbeil company's fireplaces burn gelled fuel

Magnum Industries Inc., a five-year-old Corbeil-based company, claims to be the only outfit in Canada which is gelling.

Magnum is the nation's sole producer of gelled fuel fireplaces, and under the direction of president Ray Dallard it has grown from a run-from-the-home operation into coast-to-coast distributor.

"A year ago we were working out of a bedroom," Dallard says. "Now we have offices and a showroom.

Magnum Industries Inc. was founded by Dallard's brother, John, in 1986. In its infancy the company dealt primarily with decking and decorative concrete coating, but because of the product's seasonal nature Magnum was forced to look at dealing in other wares.

After manufacturing gas fireplaces and surrounds for several years - still Magnum's meat and potatoes - the Dallards learned of the gelled fuel product which was was being manufactured and marketed in Chicago, Ill.

Ray Dallard saw the potential for the gelled fuel fireplace in Canada and took a sabbatical from the electronics field in which he worked.

"I got involved in 1989," he says, "and I took over the company about six months ago."

Since taking over Magnum Industries from John who now operates Magnum Home Comforts retail outlet in North Bay, Ray has made gelled fuel his jewel.

"We were as taken by the product as everyone else," he says with a smile.

Magnum Industries builds, packages and ships the fireplace package on its three-acre site in Corbeil, near North Bay. The wooden surrounds come in 31 different models and are built in a workshop beneath the showroom. Into these are placed a firebox, log and grate insert and three gelled fuel cans. The firebox features an orange light beneath the logs to create a warm, glowing effect.

"We can ship any unit anywhere in the country in a matter of days," Dallard says. "We also do a lot of custom work."

Gelled fuel fireplaces retail for from $960 to $1,270 each, but a smaller portable model can be purchased for between $600 and $700.

Magnum Industries' primary customers are people who either do not want the hassle of chopping wood and cleaning soot, or have no place for a chimney. The fireplaces burn odourless, produce no waste and are certified by the Underwriters Laboratory of Canada.

"We've been doing business with apartments, condominiums and hotels," Dallard notes. "Local contractors are also picking up on the product."

A three-can fire burns up to three hours. Then the user simply disposes of the gelled fuel cans, which retail for approximately $3 each.

Anticipating increased business for the building season, Dallard is again looking in new directions.

"We have an electronic accessory that I hope to introduce next season," he says.

PHOTO : At its three-acre site in Corbeil, near North Bay, Magnum Industries Inc. manufactures and ships 31 different models of fireplace packages.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Report on Construction; Corbeil-based Magnum Industries Inc.
Author:Milne, Tim
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:company profile
Date:May 1, 1991
Previous Article:Steel fabricator to upgrade painting, finishin facilities.
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