Fire at Festival Foods in Brooklyn Park clears store

A fire that started in the paper goods aisle at Festival Foods at approximately 6 p.m. July 16 ended with the store being evacuated and some food damaged past a point where it can be sold.
“We had a fire in the paper aisle,” Deputy Fire Chief Todd Seitz said. “The sprinkler system controlled the fire—we went in there and finished putting it out.”
The store, located at 8535 Edinburgh Centre Drive, is closed during a period of cleanup and restocking.
Upon seeing the fire, Festival employees sprayed fire extinguishers at the blaze, called the fire department and evacuated the building, according to Jason Herfel, vice president of fresh foods and marketing for Festival Foods.

The fire inside Festival Foods, as photographed by a customer. (Submitted photos courtesy of Troy Richardson)
The fire inside Festival Foods, as photographed by a customer. (Submitted photos courtesy of Troy Richardson)

The fire filled the entirety of the inside of the building with smoke, according to Seitz.
“They’re in the process of doing cleanup now,” Seitz said.
Investigators are continuing to attempt to determine the cause of the fire, and are interviewing Festival employees in the process. “[Arson] is not outside the possibility, but they’re still trying to rule out and make sure there wasn’t anything else,” Seitz said. “It’s too early to tell the cause yet.”
All customers and employees were evacuated, and no one was hurt in the fire. The store was evacuated in less than one minute, according to Herfel.
It is currently unclear when the store will reopen. Herfel said that the store should announce its reopening date sometime in the week of July 24-30.
Some items in the store were saved, but others were damaged beyond a level that would allow them to be sold in the retail market, Herfel said.
The response from the Brooklyn Park Fire Department was “just fantastic,” Herfel said.
A lot of residents have stopped by the store, called the store, or left social media messages in support of the store or wishing for a quick reopening, which Herfel called “humbling” and “heartwarming.”
“A lot of people have been saying, ‘This is my store,’” Herfel said.