Firefighters battle Hola Nola Foods blaze in Geismar
More than 100 firefighters worked to extinguish a fire that started early June 15 at the Hola Nola Foods processing facility in Geismar.
Authorities reported thousands of gallons of cooking oil, along with various flammable materials such as boxes and pallets, made the fire difficult to control. Firefighters had to battle the blaze again after it rekindled June 16.
Hola Nola Foods’ products are available throughout Louisiana, as well as neighboring states Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama. The company specializes in tortillas, tortilla chips, salsa, spices, dips, and popcorn.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the fire. No injuries were reported from the incident.
Fire Marshal deputies have concluded their investigation and have determined the cause to be electrical, according to a news release from the office.
Following a request by Ascension Parish Fire Protection District 1, deputies conducted an investigation into the origin and cause of the fire. Following an assessment of the scene, which included reviewing surveillance video from the business, deputies determined the fire began in the back corner of a warehouse and was caused by an electrical malfunction.
Ascension Fire District 1 Chair and St. Amant Fire Chief James LeBlanc said in a social media statement “words can never describe” what Ascension Parish and surrounding area responders did.
He called the blaze “one of the largest fires to hit Ascension Parish for many years.”
LeBlanc thanked Gonzales, Geismar, St. Amant, 7th District, Galvez Lake, 5th Ward, Prairieville, Sorrento, and East Iberville fire departments. He also credited Methanex, BASF, Nova Chemicals, Ascension Parish Government, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office, Acadian Ambulance, and the state Department of Environmental Quality.
“Words can never describe what these over 100 firefighters did over the past 20 hours on Hwy. 30,” LeBlanc added. “We have some of the most dedicated emergency responders you will ever see across this state.”
In a statement posted to the Hola Nola Foods Facebook page, the company announced it has been working closely with local authorities, contractors, and its insurance carrier to plan a path forward.
“We will pause and take a few days to cry, question, ponder and pray,” the statement read. “Then with the fruit that bears, we will craft our comeback plan. We might be knocked down but we for sure are not knocked out.”