I know this will not seem like much of a much to others, but a truly dreadful story is unfolding in my fair city this morning.
A five-alarm fire broke out about two hours ago at the Hubig Pies factory. NOFD has at least 32 vehicles and near 100 firefighters and support on the scene. From the reports so far, it looks highly doubtful the company will be able to resume production any time soon.
While the response of most will range somewhere between "Huh" and "So what," this is terrible news for a population whose traditions, while vital, are constantly under siege.
As World War I erupted, master baker Simon Hubig began making pies at his first location in Fort Worth, Texas. His sweet creations gained popularity quickly, and Hubig expanded to other cities, including a New Orleans location opened in 1922 at 2417 Dauphine St in Faubourg Marigny. The Depression took a hard toll on the Hubig empire and, in the end, only the New Orleans location remained open.
For nigh on a century, the factory in the upper Ninth Ward has put out full sized pies, small rounds and its signature folded fried pies, filled with apple, blackberry, lemon, sweet potato and chocolate fillings.
Until this morning, it seems.
WWL reports that the fire appears to have begun in the rear of the building and intensified rapidly (lot of pie-frying grease back there). Firefighters trying to enter the front of the factory were faced with the collapse of the building's front facade.
Again, this will seem a perfectly meaningless story to the rest of the country. But to Orleanians, having lived through the drowning of our city, the conversion of K&B to Rite Aid, and the gutting of our daily paper to make the world's most frivolous website, the idea of life without Hubig's pies is downright heartbreaking.