Smoke damage reported in several units following fire at Fine Cakes by Cora

Published 10:41 am Friday, March 25, 2022

LAPLACE — No injuries were reported Thursday afternoon as flames engulfed the roof of the Fine Cakes by Cora bakery in the 1500 block of Airline Highway in LaPlace.

The St. John Parish Fire Department was on the scene in less than five minutes and had the fire under control within 15 minutes. Roofers were on top of the structure when firefighters arrived, according to Fire Chief Cain Dufrene.

“We talked to the roofers. They were up there, working. I can’t 100% say that’s what caused it, but we’re about 90% sure they were working on the roof with something on fire,” Dufrene said. “They were trying to extinguish it before we got there, but they were unsuccessful.”

Responders helped the workers off the roof and quickly utilized a ladder truck to extinguish the fire.

Fine Cakes by Cora was not operating out of the 1501 W. Airline Highway location at the time of the fire due to roof repairs still being underway. The neighboring Cutters Town Barbershop sustained water damage and had some fire intrusion, according to Dufrene.

While the bakery and barbershop took the brunt of the damage, smoke spread throughout all of the units in the shopping center.

“There was a common element throughout the shopping center that allowed the smoke to travel through each one of the units. We had to ventilate all of the other units, so what took the longest was getting that all cleaned up and making sure we didn’t have any other hot spots,” Dufrene said. “The smoke damage was pretty heavy through all of the units. Once we aired it out, there was some staining from the smoke that could probably be cleaned out. I wouldn’t say it’s a total loss.”

The Cora location received extensive damage to the roof system. According to Dufrene, the unit “would need significant work to get back to being operational.”

Formerly known as Fine Cakes by Cora & Dora, Cora Louque’s bakery has sweetened life’s greatest occasions since 1986 as a staple at River Parish weddings, baby showers, birthdays, christenings, communions and graduations.

In 2020, Louque announced that medical difficulties have made it challenging for her to perform the day-to-day tasks of running a bakery, and she was looking for a buyer to take over the business as well as her tried-and-true recipes.

After the building received damage during Hurricane Ida in August 2021, Louque continued baking out of her house.