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NJ Durant Plant on Fire

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_jersey&id=8475793

There is a multiple alarm fire at the Durant Plant in Elizabeth NJ, the site of the 2004 DMAC meeting.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

This is terrible, the factroy will surely be destroyed by this fire.

Rick




Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE....SOMEONE SAVE THE COOKIES.....

Where Are You From? plmouth meeting, penna...southeastern pa.

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1929 model 60 coupe and sedan, 1925 star model F

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

If not totally destroyed, there will be lots of damage for sure.

and Gary, the cookies moved to North Carolina several years ago. The building is mostly empty, and parts of the building are used for storage. Since most of the building structure is reinforced concrete, what is burning is the contents.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Building continues to burn. The fire reached 7 alarms. Heavy smoke is coming thru the roof this morning.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

24 hours later fire is still raging in Durant Plant. Here is another link:

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Elizabeth-Fire-Burry-Biscuits-7-Alarm-136074243.html

Fire appears to be limited to the NE section of the building, and apparently started in a basement area as a car fire.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Daytime View

Rick


Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Thanks Charlie for letting us know and Rick for the great pictures. Charlie with the help of Peg you two
made the 2004 Annual Meet in NJ terrific. During the meet I asked one of the officials at the plant if it was possible to rent or buy part of the plant for a Museum for our Durant cars. His answer "Cookies and Cars don't mix."
Sorry about that Gary....
Really sad to hear this news and hopefully some part can be salvaged.

Yates

Where Are You From? Four Oaks ,NC

Do You own a car built by Durant? 23 Durant Touring

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

News at 6

The fire is still burning and the Elizabeth FD says it could be burning through Christmas Day. While building is reinforced concrete, there may be nothing left of the roof and whatever is on the interior. I will keep you posted as we get news updates.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

THANKS FOR THE UPDATES CHARLIE...I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SLEEP IF I TYHOUGHT WE LOST ALL THOSE DELICIOUS COOKIES...HAHAHAHAHA..REGARDS, GARYT78K

Where Are You From? plmouth meeting, penna...southeastern pa.

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1929 model 60 coupe and sedan, 1925 star model F

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

News @ 10 just reported that the FD went to 8 alarms. This must be some fire.

Gary: The chocolate chips melted yesterday, but I will send an email to the mayor and request that he save some of the Girl Scout thin mints just for you.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

This is ugly.
I am glad the clyb was there during better days.

Rick








Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Hello Everyone.
Charlie l thought l saw a new sprinkler system installed in the old Durant factory when we toured it in 04 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This sure is sad. Sure want to thank you again Charlie for getting us all in the Elizabeth factory.
Yates and l got a copy of the original blueprints and we gave the folks that ran the canning and food processing company in there a nice plaque.
l think member Bob Bush actually got a piece of the wood from there also. That sure was a fantastic meet you and Peg put on Charlie with a police escort all through the city of Elizabeth, NJ. Never forget it.
Faithfully
Lance Haynes
San Diego

Where Are You From? San Diego

Do You own a car built by Durant? Many

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

First, here is the link to the news for Friday:
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Elizabeth-Fire-Burry-Biscuits-7-Alarm-136074243.html

Sprinkler system: Yes, there was one when we visited the building, as it is a NJ Fire Code requirement to have a sprinkler system in that building.

Wood blocks: Yes, many of us took some of the "brick" size wood blocks from the upper floors of the building.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Here is the video

View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.



2nd video

View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Hi All.....

So sad to see this piece of history going up in flames.

Thank you Charlie and Rick for keeping us updated.

Cathy & I attended our first Annual Meeting of the DMAC that Charlie arranged at this plant. It was something to behold. We made many lasting friendships at the meet.

One of the highlights was being able to take our cars inside the building where the assembly line was located. The company presented members who brought cars with a beautiful print of the plant. I did pick up an old wood block from the floor.

Just goes to show that we must preserve history before it is lost forever.........

Frank ---

Where Are You From? Hookstown, Pennsylvania

Do You own a car built by Durant? 17 Durant & Star cars & a Durant Dort buggy (one horse power)

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

The reports are that the Elizabeth FD is monitoring the fire, but there is no end in sight.

Frank thanks for your comments. And a most of the credit for the 2004 DMAC in NJ goes to Peg. We had over 75 people at our house for dinner, as well as many Durants parked in our driveway. We have several wood blocks in the garage from the floor, as well as the floor plan of the building. As Lance reminded me, the police motorcycle escort through the City of Elizabeth was something to remember. I know that my family, including my granddaughter who got to sit on Russell's lap, enjoyed that event.

And I was interviewed by a Newark radio station last night about the event and the history of Durant.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

News Update: Here is a link to a local newspaper that says that the fire at the Durant Plant could burn into next week.

http://www.app.com/article/20111224/NJNEWS10/312240018/NJ-warehouse-fire-likely-burn-into-next-week?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire
Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Our daughter (Carla) knows several Elizabeth firemen, and the indication is that they are going to let this burn itself out. I can only imagine what the interior/exterior of the building will look like.

While it was seven years ago, I can remember what a great time we all had at the DMAC annual meeting in 2004. I am glad that we had the opportunity of seeing the building.

Merry Christmas.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

another link for news:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/elizabeth_warehouse_fire_likel.html

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Here is the main video from Charlie's link. I see the town still has the same mayor as it did when we were there. See the link Charlie left to the the full updated story. Thanks Charlie!

BTW, click the picture of Guy's Star Touring with Boat roof at the top of the Forum and you will see the mayor presenting the club with a proclamation.


Rick




Link to updated story

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/elizabeth_warehouse_fire_likel.html

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Rick is correct same mayor today as in 2004.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Fire is under control, BUT, the estimate is that it will continue to burn for several days. The Elizabeth FD does not want to risk injuries in an unoccupied building that is not endangering the neighborhood.

News @ 11, if there is any.

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Well, the fire is still burning, and it will take several more days to put out the remaining fire areas.

Demolition of parts the building is expected later this week.

Here is a link for today's news story:

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/elizabeth-warehouse-fire-still-burning-2011122

Where Are You From? NJ CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes three of them

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire
Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

I used to work in that plant, in the summer of 1974. Burry Cookie Company was taking up most of it, with various sweatshops and imported trinket distributors occupying the balance.

I was hired to be part of the maintenance crew, and I did mostly roof repair -- but I got to see almost every corner of that plant in the process. I was quite happy about that since my principal hobby has always been antique automobies and trains. (2 years later I secured a job taking care of a garage full of antique and classic cars on the grounds of Adams Industries, Union, NJ, and I also got to maintain an authentic restored 1913 Pullman car planted on a piece of track on their front lawn).

I remember that, under the area where the fire started, there was a blueprint cabinet with old blueprints in it from the days when it was an automobile plant. On the ground floor, it was all wood blocks (oil soaked!) that constituted the flooring. Up on the side wall, approx. 1/2 way down the main corridor -- about 25-30 feet up -- was a sooted up sign that could still be read "Buy U.S. War Bonds". It made me wonder whether this plant was used as a war plant during WWII?

In the area of the blueprint cabinet, in the adjoining room, was a machine shop. All the machines -- lathes, milling machines, cuttoff saws, drill presses, etc. -- ran off of the old pully belt system. (I don't think OSHA would have approved)

My grandfather used to work there as an electrician when they were producing automobiles. He used to own an Durant (don't know which model) and he said that it was a pretty good car!

I often go over to the North Elizabeth Train Station and sit on the bench there, gazing over at the remains of that plant.....thinking of what it must have been like in it's heyday.......wondering about the families whose very existance depended upon that plant, what their lives must have been like.

The fire only destroyed the tail end of the building, and I believe, the overhead crane building behind. I remember that there was an enormous overhead crane in a seperate building, or attached building. I would watch some of the maintenance crew ride in it. It was on rails (along each wall) and approx. 40-50 feet off the floor. (Boy! Did that place stink!!! Pigeon droppings EVERYWHERE!)

On the roof of the plant was a peach tree. Best we could figure, years before someone must have been eating a peach up there and threw the pit onto the roof. It landed in a pile of dust or accumulated dirt in one corner and then started growing into a tree.

I know it sounds silly, but I love that old building. I harkens back to a simpler time -- a day of honesty, morality, hard work, fairness, neighborliness, simplicity, and fear of God above all things. It seems that none of that exists today to any great degree.

Where Are You From? Montclair, NJ

Do You own a car built by Durant? No.

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

John, thanks for sharing your memories. They are worth just as much as finding a box of NOS Durant parts in a back room of that building.
Stories like this tend to put flesh on the bones of an old building.

Where Are You From? Texarkana, Tex

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Star C touring, 1927 Star M coupe, 1929 Durant D60 Express Wagon

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Yes John, thank you for sharing your memories on this building and its tragic plight. The car that I own was manufactured there in January 1928 and I'd love to get up to see what's left of the plant someday. I didn't get a chance to see it when the DMAC visited many years ago, since we were battling 3 hurricanes coming through Central Florida then but really wished I had.

Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1928 Durant Model 65 4 door

Re: NJ Durant Plant on Fire

Well, Mike, there is approx. 75% of the plant still existing. The northern end, where they had the fire, was bulldozed over. Perhaps when you come up to the area you will be able to take your own personal tour.....at least through the main corredor area. Each of the tenants branches off from that to either side.

As a matter of fact, I'd kinda like to see the inside of that plant again myself. Let me know when you're coming up and maybe we can meet and take a tour together.

God bless!

Where Are You From? Montclair, NJ

Do You own a car built by Durant? No.

 

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