La Boulangerie bakery in Fresno had a small fire — but don’t panic, owner says

When a longtime beloved Fresno bakery has a fire — even a tiny one — its customers worry.

That’s what happened when La Boulangerie bakery announced on its Instagram account that both its main Fig Garden Village location and its downtown counter inside the Pacific Southwest building would be closed Monday.

“No need to panic. We’re going to fulfill all the orders,” owner Taj Rakkar said to The Bee.

He expects the bakeries to reopen by Tuesday.

Affectionately dubbed “La Bou” by many customers, the Fig Garden location had a small fire in the exhaust fan in the ceiling of one of the restrooms about 1 p.m. Sunday. A customer noticed smoke and employees put out the fire with an extinguisher, Rakkar said. The Fresno Fire Department showed up and finished the job.

The fire had spread to the materials in the ceiling above the bathroom, though sprinklers took care of most of it, said Battalion Chief Devin McGuire. No cause has been determined.

McGuire said investigators estimated about $20,000 worth of damages between what flames did to the building and the product the company had to throw away.

“It was extinguished relatively quickly,” McGuire said. “No one was hurt.”

Nothing else was damaged, including the kitchen where special-order cakes are baked, the large display case full of decadent pastries people line up for or the popular indoor/outdoor seating areas, Rakkar said.

But when word spread of the temporary closure spread, customers got worried and starting calling.

“There’s so many rumors,” said Rakkar, thanking customers for their concern.

Because there was a fire, the bakery will need an OK from the health department to reopen.

The downtown location closed for the day because it doesn’t have a kitchen. Its food is made at the Fig Garden location and brought in.