Fire at Central California Baking Company is still under investigation

The large cloud of black smoke that rose from Central California Baking Company’s roof on March 23, is said to be produced from a commercial oven that caught fire

EXETER – The Tulare County Fire Department is still investigating what caused a commercial oven to set fire and sent plooms of black smoke into the air on the morning of March 23.

Fire crews were dispatched at 8:52 a.m. and by 12:11 p.m. everyone had departed the scene. Within an hour of fighting the flames, the fire was reported to be under control, meaning the fire was not quite completely out, but extremely close. 

According to Fire Captain/Investigator David Cornett, a commercial oven went up in flames and extended into the attic and roof through the ducting system. The root cause of this fire is still under investigation. 

“At this point in time we have determined it to be accidental fire. The exact cause of it we don’t know. It could have been a few things but we did rule out any criminal act,” Cornett said. 

Cornett explained that it was a two alarm fire, meaning that the amount of personnel and apparatuses brought on board was more than usual. There was a considerable amount of smoke billowing from the building. In this situation, with the combination of visible smoke and building size the department would rather be safe than sorry and bring more crew members on board.

 A total of 20 apparatuses and 40 fire personnel were brought onto the scene, including fire engines from all over the county. Over half of the engines brought to the scene came from the city of Tulare, while the others came from the cities of Visalia, Lindsay, Farmersville, Porterville and Exeter. 

Within the 40 personnel called to the scene, four chief officers, two fire investigators and two safety officers were included.

No civilians or firefighters were injured.

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