Renehan Apple Cannery Is Destroyed By Fire

November 25, 1965

The main plant of A. H. Renehan and Sons, local processors of apple products, was destroyed by fire last Thursday afternoon at a loss estimated by the owners at $150,000.

One hundred and thirty-five employees were at work in the large block and frame structure when the fire broke out at about 2:45 p.m. No one was injured.

The fire started in a boiler room. Firemen were handicapped by lack of water. Hose lines were laid to a small stream, some 1,200 feet away.

Firemen prevented spread of the flames to a large frame house, adjacent to the cannery, and a smaller house, in back of the Renehan plant.

Companies dispatching firemen and apparatus to the scene included Sykesville, West Friendship, Lisbon, Liberty Road, Ellicott City, Woodlawn, Laurel, Woodstock, Westminster, Elkridge, Mt. Airy and Damascus. Firemen fought the blaze until about 7 p.m.

The wrecked plant contained some 3,800 square feet of space. Destroyed with the building was equipment used in the processing of the firm’s two main products, sliced apples and apple buter.

Also destroyed was a quantity of cans and jars. Most of the season’s pack had been removed to nearby warehouses. Processed goods lost in the fire was valued at some $7,500.

The fire struck the local plant when the current season was about two-thirds over. It put the local cannery out of business insofar as its main operations were concerned.

The firm also processes apple juice and cider, at a nearby location, but these items represent only a small phase of the business.

Sydney H. Renehan, head of the local firm, said that one of the problems facing him this week was the disposal of some 25,000 bushels of apples, on hand at the time of the fire.

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