The Norwalk Fire Department received a call reporting the bakery’s “large fire” at 8:01 a.m. Sunday. Firefighters saw “moderate smoke” coming from the building and its roof once they arrived and found the fire had started in the muffin line machine, a multi-million dollar machine, according to fire chief John Soisson.
According to firefighters’ estimations, New Horizons lost about $25,000 in property damages and another $30,000 in destroyed contents.
“It looked like some of the muffins had caught fire then … one of the machines caught fire that makes their buns and muffins and then it extended into their exhaust system,” Soisson said. “It was an exhaust fire. Whenever you’re baking, you’re baking at high temperatures. That’s just a risk that comes with their business, I guess.”
The report said the fire also extended outside the upper ventilation trunk and ignited the roof area assembly as well.
Firefighters used a ladder truck to put out the blaze and then checked to make sure there were no hot spots remaining.
It took the 16 firefighters in their five trucks about two hours to extinguish the fire. It could have been worse, though, the chief said, adding the business’ precautionary measures are what saved it.
“New Horizons does a good job with their production and the sprinkler system worked as it was designed,” Soisson said. “Only four sprinkler heads came on and controlled the fire until we got there and were able to finish extinguishing the fire.
“My big point for this is that fire codes are important. New Horizons is a company that’s very good to work with and they have very good fire suppression system within there and that was able to keep the fire relatively small and contained until we got there and were able to get it extinguished. That’s why sprinklers in building are so important within the city.”
Soisson said he hopes other businesses will learn from the experience too.
“Nobody likes fire codes because it costs money to do that stuff, but this is the benefit,” he said. “Their system worked really well and damage was pretty minor because of that.”
New Horizons was able to keep production going and was fully operational later on Sunday.