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BATAVIA, NY: JUNE 26, 1913 – Three employees of the Batavia Preserving Co. were eating dinner outside the Mill Street plant in the late afternoon when they saw flames pouring from the plant’s powerhouse. The factory canned and stored peas, beans, spinach and other crops and was built alongside Tonawanda Creek. The fire department was called, but found the entire plant a mass of flames as they rolled in. Billowing clouds of smoke chugged from the building as hundreds of cans inside the blazing structure exploded. Firemen worked all afternoon and into the evening to bring the blaze under control. Within the ruins were a half-million canned vegetables, fish and puddings. The fire was declared out the next morning. The company immediately took steps to stay in business. Temporary structures were built and two weeks later, the first farm delivery was made. The plant was up and running and the local crop was saved.
ATHENIA, NJ: JUNE 28, 1913 – An unusual accident occurred when a large touring car containing four people and traveling at a high speed went out of control and crashed into a home on Van Houton Avenue. The gasoline tanks at the rear of the car were damaged and the home’s gas lamps quickly ignited the leaking fluids. The blaze spread rapidly from the front porch as the car’s occupants tried to extinguish the blaze with sand and dirt. Above, the sleeping occupants were jolted from their sleep to find their home in flames. They all escaped without injury. The Athenia Volunteer Fire Department arrived quickly and soon had the fire under control.