For the second time this summer and third time in 2017, a long-abandoned distillery in Dundalk went up in flames last night.
A Facebook Live video from Dundalk resident George Fischer on Monday night shows Baltimore County firetrucks and police cars responding to the old Seagram’s plant in the 7000 block of Sollers Point Road. From a hill, the footage shows the dilapidated building spewing flames from the inside for more than 20 minutes.
A Baltimore County Fire Department release said crews were dispatched at around 10 p.m. Monday night for a fire at the building, with flames visible from the fourth floor. No injuries were reported, but the blaze “heavily damaged” the building and caused a partial collapse, including the roof.
The cause remains undetermined, the department said.
The fire was the second one at the building in the last eight weeks, and the third one this year. About two dozen firefighters responded there on July 3, and in January a firefighter was hospitalized after something sparked a blaze there, per WBAL-TV.
The plant was once a whiskey production facility for the former North American alcohol conglomerate (now split up between even-bigger conglomerates Diageo and Coca-Cola). However, Seagram’s decided to leave it behind in 1988 for another facility in Relay, which is now set to become a new Guinness brewery.
Sollers Investors, LLC owns the property, according to state tax records. They’ve been working for years to redevelop the land into a 185-unit townhouse complex, to be called Foundry Station. The plans are awaiting approval from the county.
Interestingly, the Dundalk Eagle reported last month that an administrative law judge ordered the owners to demolish the plant’s main building by July 27, and to clear out the entire property by the end of this month, which only has two days left. In the July blaze, one of the plant’s buildings reportedly collapsed, while the other was left structurally unstable.
In addition to the three fires that ignited there this year, the old plant also went up in flames in 2010, 2012 and 2013. In two separate cases in 2012 and 2014, men fell to their deaths while trespassing in the vacant warehouse.
This story has been updated with details from the Baltimore County Fire Department.
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