Electric log lighter for fireplace?

My home was originally an All-Electric Home, and while I've converted heat and hot water over to gas, with a slab foundation there was no practical way to get gas to the fireplace (the fireplace is completely inside the living space, so there's no outside wall).
Originally there was a Matchless Log Lighter, Model 100, made by Vico Products Manufacturing of South El Monte , CA. I found them on the internet, but listed phone numbers are disconnected, so I suspect they are out of business.
So this was a heating element laid into a groove in the grate, and connected through an electric cable to a timer on the outside of the chimney. Here's a picture:
http://s2.postimg.org/w4si5mxx5/Log_Lighter.jpg
Well of course this thing has long since burned out. And as you can see in the picture, the heating element is embedded in some kind of white ceramic material inside the steel pipe. So I don't see a way to replace just the element.
I just wondered if anyone knew of another product, or possibly a DIY thing, that would let me get some kind of built-in electric fire starter working again.
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Furnace ignitor ?
Greg
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On Fri, 29 Jan 2016 12:50:54 -0600, Peabody

You can buy an electric charcoal starter. I'd just a metal loop with a handle. Plug it in, it glows red hot, and starts the charcoal. I'm sure it would light logs too. However, a plain propane torch would also start a fire and probably do it faster, as well as cheaper. When I go camping, I can start a camp fire in a few minutes with a propane torch.
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