LEOMINSTER -- Joyce Addonizio got on the phone to tell brides who have weddings this weekend that a fire at her Joyce's Pies & Bakery on North Main Street will prevent her from baking the cakes they ordered.

As she stood outside the bakery once the flames were out, she worried about having to tell the brides, but other bakeries in the city started offering support soon after.

Joyce's had orders for three or four cakes this weekend and another three or four next weekend.

Owners of bakeries Auntie Ellen's and Shancakes visited the shop at 580 North Main St. to offer help, said Joyce's husband, Bob Addonizio.

The Addonizios, who live in Shirley, were amazed at the support from fellow bakeries and other parts of the community.

Representatives from Mayor Dean Mazzarella's office visited and said they will hold a ribbon-cutting for the reopening.

"I've had everybody call to support us," Addonizio said.

Everything was normal and secured when they left the shop Monday, Joyce Addonizio said.

"When we closed, everything was locked down and closed as normal," she said. "Same as every day for 23 years."

Wiring Inspector Joe Poirier said it wasn't an electrical problem that caused the fire. Fire Lt. John Gendron called the fire suspicious.

The Police Department posted a video on its Facebook page of a man inside the Unified Petroleum gas station next door who they are calling a person of interest.

Leominster Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000.


Advertisement

The first firefighters from Engine 3 reported fire coming from the rear of the building when they arrived, Lt. Roger LaPointe said.

"Call from a passer-by was the first call, then we started to get calls here from others going by," LaPointe said.

Firefighters knocked down the heaviest flames in about 15 minutes, then spent about an hour going through the building looking for embers and hot spots, LaPointe said.

Fire burned an estimated 15-foot-by-40-foot addition to the building that was used for storage and refrigeration, LaPointe said.

"It's a pretty good size," he said.

The building's concrete-block wall kept the flames at bay until firefighters arrived, Bob Addonizio said.

No injuries were reported.

Off-duty firefighters were called in to man the city's fire stations.

Fitchburg, Sterling and Lunenburg provided mutual aid to cover the city's streets while Leominster firefighters were fighting the fire.

Most firefighters left the scene about 5:45 a.m. Investigators, including firefighter Ryan Young and state police Trooper Steve Cunningham, remained at the scene.

Electricity to the bakery was isolated after the fire so the Addonizios were able to get inside for the cleanup to begin.

The cleaning company ServePro started the cleaning process.

"Now it's up to my insurance company to come through for me," Bob Addonizio said. "If they can be as supportive of me as the rest of Leominster, I'll be indebted forever."

Joyce's Pies & Bakery is in a small retail center with The Daily Bagel Café, which was open Tuesday morning, and Formal Attire Tuxedo Rentals, and next door to Unified Petroleum gas station.

Follow Jack Minch on Facebook, Tout and Twitter @JackMinch.