Firefighters from four different departments in St. Charles Parish responded to a fire at South East Seafood in Des Allemands during the early morning hours of June 8.
The fire started so fast and burned so quickly said Des Allemands Fire Chief Jamie Cortez that by the time they arrived on the scene the building was beyond trying to salvage.
The blaze happened on Highway 631 in Des Allemands a local seafood company owned by Robert DeJean who specialized in boiled crabs. Cortez said the Louisiana Fire Marshall’s report closed the investigation after an undetermined ruling on what started the fire, a result that isn’t uncommon.
“I was the first unit on the scene. Before I even got there I could see the flames shooting straight up,” Cortez said. “I started spraying water to protect the building next to it. I noticed the roof was already starting to collapse and I wasn’t sending any of my guys in there at that point.”
Firefighters from Des Allemands, Bayou Gauche, Paradis and Luling spent more than four hours quenching the blaze which the fire marshall’s office believe to have started in the back of the building where the company used gas and other flammables to boil crabs.
South East Seafood employee Angela Bergeron said it definitely hasn’t been a good year so far with the numbers of crabs caught not being as plentiful as years prior, but was thankful that no one was hurt in the fire.
“It just all happened so fast,” Bergeron said. “Robert will build back. I’m sure of it. It’s going to take a while though having to go through the state for everything. There are a lot of regulations to deal with now.”
Manager Craig Pizzolato said he was in disbelief when he got the call from one of the workers telling him the building was burning down.
“I got a call from one of the workers and called Bobby as soon as it happened,” Pizzolato said. “Right now we’re just trying to sell a few crabs, keep some sort of money coming in.”