N.B. Covered Bridge Potato Chips factory destroyed by fire, premier offers sympathies

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's premier is offering his sympathies to workers and their families after a fire destroyed the Covered Bridge Potato Chips factory in Hartland, N.B.

Premier Blaine Higgs issued a statement today with Margaret Johnson and Greg Turner, the province's agriculture and labour ministers, calling the fire a "heartbreaking loss."

The statement says the factory began operating in 2009 and became a key source of employment in the region, as well as a destination for tourists.

It thanks the first responders who fought the fire in the cold, and says there were no reported injuries.

Tweets from the province's RCMP show officers and fire crews began battling the blaze on Friday evening, and they asked residents to stay away.

Pictures on social media Friday show the facility fully engulfed in flames, and a photo shared this afternoon by the New Brunswick government shows a grim aftermath of charred metal and debris.

"Our government is on the ground working with the company and we’re providing whatever assistance is available," the statement said.

"Our thoughts are with the employees, their families and members of the surrounding communities who will be affected by this heartbreaking loss."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2024.

The Canadian Press