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'It's emotional': Fire damages Esquimalt bakery; adjacent buildings saved

Crews responded about 8 a.m. and were fighting the blaze from outside the building on Devonshire Road near Lampson Street, and working to protect adjacent businesses

A fire caused extensive damage at Rising Star Wholesale Bakery in Esquimalt on Wednesday morning, but firefighters were able to save adjacent buildings with “minimal damage,” says Esquimalt’s fire chief.

Employees inside at the time of the fire got out safely, said Esquimalt Fire Rescue Chief Matt Furlot.

“Obviously, it’s very tragic for them and the business.”

Jagdeep Bunet, one of the owners, told CHEK News that the bakery has a large staff.

“It’s been kind of like a primary income for so many, so I don’t know what to say at this point,” Bunet said. “It’s emotional. All of our clients, our customers who are relying on us.”

He said he had heard the cause could be electrical.

Furlot said it’s known what room the fire started in, but the exact cause is still being investigated.

The bakery supplies about 130 products to major hotels, restaurants and cafes.

It is an older building on Devonshire Road near Lampson Street and the fire “proved to be very challenging,” Furlot said.

“It kept crews there on scene all morning.”

Crews responded about 8 a.m. and weren’t able to get at the fire from the inside, he said. They fought the blaze from outside the building and worked to keep it from spreading.

An aerial truck was brought in, and mutual-aid partners from Victoria, View Royal and CFB Esquimalt provided assistance.

Stewart Clark, who works nearby, told CHEK that a colleague came rushing in after the fire was reported and told staff to leave the building

“We peeked out the door and thick clouds of smoke were rising from the business over here.”

He said he hopes the business will reopen.

Lampson Street was closed from Rockheights Avenue to Old Esquimalt Road, but was reopened by about 11 a.m.

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