NEW ORLEANS - A five-alarm fire raged at the iconic Hubig's Pies facility Friday morning in the Faubourg Marigny, resulting in a total loss of the building, according to the New Orleans Fire Department.
The fire began around 4:28 a.m. at 2417 Dauphine St. Flames shot out of the back of the building, the area in which pie production occurs.
An employee noticed smoke coming out of the fryer room, where the fire is assumed to have started, according to the NOFD.
When they arrived on scene, firefighters were entering the building through a front garage, but this entrance collapsed around 5:30 a.m. as the fire spread towards the front.
However, after the front wall collapsed, fire fighters were able to directly spray the flames, according to NOFD Supt. Charles Parent.
At least 32 trucks and 95 personnel were on the scene of the blaze in the historic neighborhood, as the fire intensified from a two-alarm to a five-alarm in the structure that dates back to 1922.
The firefighters displayed immense bravery by putting themselves between neighbors houses and the Hubig's building, Parent said. They utilized the roofs of nearby homes by climbing on top and spraying water on the blaze.
The fire was under control shortly after 6:30 a.m.
Fire dug into the sidewalk to turn the gas off in the building before entering. Because both the front and back wall had collapsed, officials had to make sure the side walls were sturdy - they would cause major damage if they fell towards neighboring houses, the NOFD said. Then, the structure was inspected for hotspots.
The area is one of the largest intact 19th century neighborhoods in the United States with 1,800 structures on the registry, said Gretchen Bomboy of the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association.
Several nearby homes in the area were threatened and the multitude of neighbors on scene were stunned.
The neighboring houses are less than three feet away and the residence in the rear is about 10 feet away, according to Bomboy. Heat from the fire could be felt two blocks away.
The one employee in the building at the the time was evacuated safely and no other injuries have been reported.
Hubig's issued the following statement:
"On behalf of the Hubig's Pies family we would like to thank everyone for all of the love and support we have received through out the years and during this difficult time. The abundant amount of thoughts, prayers, and strength that is being sent our way during this time is much appreciated. We are blessed to be part of such a resilient community and we send our immense gratitude to all of the first responders who "put this out with their tears." We will continue to update you on our progress. "REBUILD RESTORE REHUBIG'S, WE WILL NOT LOSE OUR FLAVOR!" With Love, The Bowman and Ramsey Families."
Hubig's Pies owner Andrew Ramsey said the company will rebuild.
The community has been scooping up any pies they could get their hands on! The historic Matassa's Grocery owner said the treats flew off his shelves.