by Pete Mazzaccaro
A fire at Rittenhouse Lumber, 608 Bethlehem Pike in Erdenheim, destroyed the lumber storage yard Saturday night, Feb. 9, including a wood and brick structure that once served as a trolley turnaround many years ago.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Owner Elaine Hrynko told the Local Monday that she and her husband, Stan Hrynko, were awakened around 11 p.m. Saturday night and called to the lumber company where at least six fire companies were working to contain the blaze.
Hrynko said the Flourtown, Ft. Washington, Barren Hill, Oreland and Whitemarsh fire companies and Chestnut Hill’s Engine Co. #34 were all at the scene.
“The fire companies did an extremely good job,” Hrynko said. “They kept the blaze from spreading to nearby buildings, the gas station and the bus depot behind us.”
She said that she was told a passerby saw the fire and called 911 from a nearby gas station. The Hrynkos, who live in Cheltenham, were called to the scene shortly thereafter.
The fire was contained to the lumber storage area and did not harm the main building. On Monday Feb. 11, the business was open, and Hrynko said she was busy answering concerned calls from customers.
“We lost a lot of orders that were there waiting to be picked up,” Hrynko said. “We’re still trying to figure out what the best way to make it work.”
Hrynko, whose father, Ray Kostin, started the business in Germantown in 1940, said it was the first time in Rittenhouse Lumber’s history that it ever had a fire.
“We’ve been very lucky,” she said.