FRANKLINTON – An explosion and fire early Wednesday, June 22 destroyed Smith Creamery, a long-time local dairy known for its non-homogenized milk, butter and Creole butter sold at local farmer's markets and local stores.
Fire officials are investigating what caused the massive explosion at the creamery, located near Mt. Hermon near Franklinton.
Owner Warren Smith said he heard an explosion and ran out to see transformers sparking. But it's not yet clear whether that was what caused the fire or whether that was a result of it.
Fire officials said they believe the explosion was triggered by a leaking propane tank.
The explosion in the 5,000 square foot building sent debris scattering as far as a half mile away.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as the state fire marshal's office are investigating what caused the blast.
Smith said he is heartbroken. He and his wife have been in the business for 42 years, and they have a huge base of local customers here and in the New Orleans area.
He said his business will be shut down for awhile, but he plans to work to get the dairy back on its feet.
The fire marshal's office said no one was injured, but the creamery was completely destroyed.
No foul play is suspected, but an investigation will continue.