Firefighters investigating cause of Le Grand the Florist fire
Firefighters are trying to determine what caused a large fire at a landmark florist shop in downtown Gretna Tuesday morning.
The fire started shortly after 7 a.m. at the Le Grand the Florist located in the 500 block of Huey P. Long Avenue.
Firefighters say that no one was inside the building at the time of the fire. It is unclear if there were working smoke alarms in the building. The fire is suspected to have started in the rear part of the building.
The building is now considered a total loss, officials say.
This February would have marked 60 years the florist shop has been in business. Mark Le Grand opened it when he was just 17 years old.
"It's like a lifetime of my father's life going up in smoke," Le Grand's daughter, Lisa Witter, said.
It took firefighters more than five hours to damper the flames. The cold weather hindered the process, leaving equipment frozen and gear caked in ice.
Witter said she the shop could be rebuilt, but it will not be the same.
"He (Le Grand) said the history is gone," Witter said.
Only time will tell if the shop that began in 1958 will return.
"We always wanted the florist to continue so I'm not really sure what's gonna happen at this point," Witter said.