Fire mars LaPlace landmark

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 28, 2010

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – A two-alarm fire broke out in the smokehouse at LaPlace landmark Jacob’s World Famous Andouille Monday afternoon sometime shortly before 3:30 p.m.

According to employee Linda Logarbo, she and some of the other workers were meeting with owner Aaron Lions when a co-worker went to check on the smokehouse, something that is done every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day. When she opened the door to the smokehouse, flames shot from the door, Logarbo said.

Next door at Quick Stop Car Wash and Express Lube, worker Jason Burton also noticed something was amiss.

“We always see the smoke, but it was thicker and then it turned black,” he said. Burton said he quickly called for coworker Ryan Guillot to notify the fire department.

Burton said he was particularly concerned about the possibility of the fire spreading. A former fire department member, he said he knew first-hand how quickly a blaze can get out of control. And as the afternoon was especially windy, that danger was even more imminent.

Burton said when he was in the service a fire on a ship took 39 hours to get under control.

Luckily, that was not the case Monday.

Fire trucks arrived on the scene at 3:39 p.m. and were able to contain the flames to the smokehouse structure. By 4:30 p.m. the flames were out.

“At least they got here quick enough to get it under control. It could have been a disaster,” said Burton.

While firefighters from LaPlace and Reserve worked to cool down the still smoldering structure, Lions directed his employees to save what merchandise they could.

According to Lions, the smokehouse portion of the site was virtually destroyed, but the front structure from which merchandise is sold was untouched by the flames.

Although the stress of the situation shone on his face, Lions was optimistic about the future of Jacob’s.

“We’re going to rebuild,” he said.

Jacob’s has been making and selling andouille in LaPlace since 1928.