Firefighters extinguish Donaldsonville building blaze during Hurricane Delta

Michael Tortorich

As Hurricane Delta brought high wind and rain late Oct. 9, the Donaldsonville Fire Department responded to an electrical fire at a commercial building located at the corner of Hwy. 1 South and West 11th Street.

Previously housing the National and Hebert’s grocery stores, the commercial building located at West 11th Street and Hwy. 1 South in Donaldsonville caught fire late Oct. 9 as winds from Hurricane Delta moved through the area.

City officials said winds from the storm caused the blaze at the facility, which is the former location for such businesses as National and Hebert’s grocery stores. Part of the building houses the Fountain of Faith Christian Center.

Members of the Napoleonville Volunteer Fire Department assisted with their ladder truck. DFD also dispatched its ladder truck to the scene.

Former Fire Chief Chuck Montero assisted Fire Chief Adam Gautreaux along with several firefighters and Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies. An avid photographer, Montero shared to Facebook an album of photos he took at the scene.

He said the facade was destroyed, but the building itself received minor fire and water damage.

According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts in the area reached 50 miles-per-hour between 10 and 11 p.m., which is around the time the fire department was dispatched to the fire.

Firefighters were concerned about a nearby gas station at the corner of Hwy. 1 South and West 10th Street, so water was used on both sides of the building to contain possible spread.

Throughout Ascension Parish, customers lost power due to the storm. As of 11:30 p.m. the night of the hurricane, the parish’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness reported multiple power outages and minor impacts to parish rivers from rainfall.

OHSEP’s Emergency Operations Center was fully activated, and coordinated with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, Gonzales Police, the Department of Public Works, and fire services. Once tree removal requests subsided, the EOC deactivated.

Entergy crews were pre-staged on both sides of the river. APSO reported several road closures in the aftermath of the storm, and DPW worked on debris removal on roadways that did not involve downed power lines.