By Adamaris Reyes ’19
On Tuesday, April 2, a massive fire broke out in the Newly Weds food factory located on the west of Wrightwood and north of Keeler. The large factory quickly collapsed as the blazing fire became more and more intense, burning everything down until it became unrecognizable. The cause of the fire, as official Richard C. Ford II said, “started in the central cooking area and it went up into the roof area and spread both laterally on the roof area.”
Newly Weds food factory has been around since the 1930s and since then it has become one of the largest food suppliers, known for its quality ingredients and innovative technology that allows the company to produce their products efficiently.
For some at Pritzker, however, hearing about the Newly Weds fire was frightful to discover. Senior Andrew Graciano, whose grandmother and mother work at one of the Newly Weds factory stated, “I started getting worried that what’s burning and causing all that smoke was [their] factory.” Naturally, Graciano and one of his family members went over to confirm if the factory burning was indeed the one where his grandmother and mother worked at.“We were like, ‘thank god’ it wasn’t where they worked it was a different one” Graciano mentioned. However, the feeling of relief seemed to fade away as Graciano started to feel “sympathy” as he explains how “no one deserves to have something taken away from them, especially when it’s their job!”
Meanwhile, Senior Jocelyn Delgado, who lives a block away from the factory, explained that she was at work and “multiple of [her] friends had called and [asked her] if [she] was ‘ok’.” Because this fire was so great in size, many were worried that there was a possibility that other homes could catch fire. “When I found out about what was going on I was scared because [..] it’s a really big company and I know the fire could spread very quickly” Delgado explained.
What started out as a regular school and work day, became a frightening and tragic one. Multiple firefighters were working together to tame and extinguish the fire. Their efforts paid of when they were able to fully tame the fire around 10 p.m. All the employees of Newly Weds evacuated on time and no one was hurt.
Nevertheless, the Newly Weds company is looking into rebuilding the damaged parts of the factory although, as of now, there has not been an exact plan of how this will be accomplished. However, for the many employees that lost their job because of the fire, it is said that Newly Weds “is already looking to see how they can reassign displaced workers to other company locations.”