A fire that gutted a beloved Delaware bakery on Christmas Eve began accidentally.
Just hours after people lined up to grab Christmas treats at Serpe and Sons Bakery on Kirkwood Highway in Elsmere the blaze broke out and quickly spread. On Tuesday, the Delaware State Fire Marshal ruled that the a "malfunction in or around the main bakery oven" ignited the blaze.
Firefighters from six different companies could be seen going in and out as thick smoke poured from the large building. Two firefighters required evaluation at an area hospital, said New Castle county dispatchers.
The blaze broke out just hours after people packed Serpe's to pick up cakes, cookies, Italian bread and rolls for Christmas meals.
Photos posted to the bakery’s Facebook page showed lines out the door:
The Serpe family even turned to Instagram to thank customers as the fire was burning.
The blaze left customers devastated.
"I'm actually heartbroken right now, to have it happen on Christmas Eve is horrible," said customer Dana Campbell.
The accidental fire caused serious damage to equipment inside the building and the building itself, said the fire marshal.
Owners Dominic and Nicholas Serpe told NBC10 they were thankful everyone made it out OK and they vowed to work hard to reopen.