One year after fire destroys Raber Packing Co., owners still hoping to reopen

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — Owners are still working to reopen Raber Packing Co. after a fire destroyed the business in November 2018.

Raber had been open since the 1950s. The fire broke out on Nov. 8 and more than 10 crews worked to put it out.

“Raber has been around for a long time, it’s been a staple in Peoria for a long time in the area, so the owners are here and we’re getting support from then and helping us with what’s going on with the structure,” said Limestone Fire Department Chief Larry Gilmore as crews worked the fire.

Flames could be seen from Farmington Road, as smoke consumed the building.

The fire destroyed 12,000 pounds of product, closed the business, and left workers without jobs just before the holidays.

“There’s people that have a lot of years in here supported a lot of families, and it’s not just about my family it’s about somebody else’s too so I want to make sure they are taking care of in this situation,” said Henry “Buddy” Raber when it happened.

But soon after, owners were already planning to reopen.

“Hopefully we can rebuild this, and be selling the same products this time next year,” said Raber.

In April, Raber announced they would be re-opening at a new location on Farmington Road in West Peoria. The new property, at 2920 W. Farmington Road, is just half a mile from the previous location.

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