St. George Firefighters say it was the battle of their career; Associated Grocers fire

NBC33 Staff
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POSTED: Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 6:23pm

Fire investigators now know that an electrical malfunction caused a massive fire at Associated Grocers in Baton Rouge. It took firefighters ten hours to put the fire out.

Jason Stubbs, St. George Fire Department Chief, said the hardest thing about fighting this fire is that they could not even see it.

"It's probably one of the hardest ones I've ever been a part of," Stubbs said. "With having that many void spaces and it being in one spot one minute and then another spot the next that created a lot of problems with what was taking place."

Firefighters said due to the construction of Associated Grocers, they had to deal with three separate layers of ceiling, and that's where the fire was located.

"It was really no way to access. We tried to accessing it from the bottom," Stubbs said. "We tried accessing it from the top. We tried accessing it from the sides. It was just going to take a long time to do it and a lot of man hours."

It took them more than ten hours to put out the fire, and St. George Firefighters had to call other departments for help.

"Just glad that it's was over," Stubbs said. "I know the men were. Those boys worked hard. Every one of them."

No one was hurt in the fire. Firefighters said Associated Grocers employees helped keep them hydrated.

"Their staff out there assisted us tremendously yesterday. They kept us with refreshments. We ran out. They resupplied us," Stubbs said. "Several of the men were appreciative of their efforts and what they did for us."

Today, Associated Grocers was open for business. Clean up crews are working to fix the part of their facility that was damaged by fire.   

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