Future of New Brunswick potato chip factory uncertain after devastating fire

Click to play video: 'Future of N.B. chip factory unclear after massive fire'
Future of N.B. chip factory unclear after massive fire
The Covered Bridge potato chip factory’s future remains unclear. But since the New Brunswick facility burned down last week, people in the community and across the country are rallying together in support. Anna Mandin tells us more – Mar 4, 2024

The future of the Covered Bridge Potato Chips factory in Hartland, N.B., remains unclear, three days after the building was destroyed by fire.

The blaze broke out Friday evening, with heavy smoke and flames that filled the air across the Trans-Canada Highway.

Shayon Siriwardhana, a supervisor who was running a shift when the fire started, told Global News the fire began as an “incident in the fryer room that escalated to a big fire.” 

The factory employed about 100 people. Now, the community is wondering what will become of the major employer and the tourists the factory helped attract.

“It’s going to have a far-reaching impact.” said Hartland Deputy Mayor Stewart Fairgrieve.

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“In a small community like Hartland, everyone wants to rally around and support the people that were employed here, as well as the family that own the building.”

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The company has not publicly said what its plans are now, but the deputy mayor says he knows the community will be supportive whatever the decision may be.

Across the street from Hartland’s famed covered bridge, which the chip company is named after, Heidi Prosser works at the Freshmart grocery store. The store was busy helping to feed firefighters Friday night as they battled the massive blaze.

“It’s very devastating for our small community. It impacted a lot of people, a lot of jobs,” said Prosser.

“Small community like ourselves, we help one another when we can.”

Prosser says she knows the company’s owners and is hopeful they’ll bounce back soon.

“I just I hope they build bigger and better,” she said.

“Everybody will definitely miss their chips until they’re out on the shelves again. I just hope they find a way to do great.”

Click to play video: 'Large potato chip factory burns down in N.B. town'
Large potato chip factory burns down in N.B. town

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