Massive fire destroys Gentilly bakery

Gentilly bakery destroyed by fire

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans firefighters are battling a large fire at a Gentilly bakery early Tuesday morning.

The fire broke out at the Buttermilk Drop Bakery near the intersection of Elysian Fields Avenue and Robert E. Lee Boulevard just before 4 a.m.

Elysian Fields Avenue is closed at Robert E. Lee heading toward downtown. Robert E. Lee is closed westbound.

Vermillion Boulevard is an alternate route.

The call came in reporting the fire at 3:46 a.m. Firefighters arrived on the scene at 3:53 a.m.

When firefighters arrived, flames were already through the roof with most of the bakery's interior already fully involved, a second alarm was called shortly after at 4:05 a.m.

The bakery's manager told firefighters that no one should have been inside at the time of the fire. That prompted the decision to attack the fire from the outside, drowning the fire from above with aerial units.

Sixteen units carrying 37 firefighters were involved in fighting the fire, placing the incident under control at 6:54 a.m.

Firefighters were at the bakery Monday night to extinguish a grease fire in a doughnut fryer.

That fire was brought under control just after 10 p.m. Firefighters used thermal imaging cameras to make sure no hot spots remained.

Grease is the main accelerant fueling morning fire said Captain Ed Holmes, New Orleans Fire Department spokesman.

The roof and walls of the building collapsed, but no injuries were reported.

Fire officials have not yet determined the cause of the fire.

The owners of the bakery released a statement about the fire:

"The owners are on the scene and are working closely w nofd. The cause of the first fire last night is still unknowns but was thought to be contained by the hood and fire suppression system. Employees were present but thankfully none were harmed. The second fire was reported near the kitchen area at the rear of the building.No employees were present as result of the first fire.

"The Buttermilk Drop would like to thank its neighbors and customers for the calls and outpouring of support. Our thoughts and prayers are with our loyal employees who have been untimely displaced during this holiday season. We will continue to serve our world famous drops at our other location and we hope to open again in this area."

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