WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - Darel Burney poured everything he had into his bakery that was partially destroyed after a fire ripped through the building right before Christmas. Investigators say it was intentionally set.
“All I heard was, ‘Fire, bakery, get there soon as possible,' so my heart kind of said pitter patter and I took off," Burney said. “When I got here, it was worse than I thought.”
Burney was delivering the bakery’s famous croissants when he got the call about the fire around 6 p.m. The shop closed at 5 p.m., and investigators said the front door of the bakery was shattered. Most of the damage is in the back half of the shop.
Burney said he feels like he let the community down by closing around his shop’s busiest time of the year.
“The community has been great," he said. "They have supported us and I hate all of this has happened right through the holidays.
"We pretty much work all year for the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so this has cut us short and people that have kind of needed us through that time, we haven’t been there for them and I apologize.”
Burney said he isn’t sure if he will reopen without money to fall back on to rebuild. He will have to talk to the owner of the building to see what he wants to do.
People in the city said they’re craving those delicious croissants, and want him to reopen as soon as possible.
“I loved them, especially if you put them in the microwave and let them warm up a little bit," customer Earl Stewart said. "They taste good. I always got a variety of them.”
Investigators haven’t named a suspect but said they have some good leads. The State Bureau of Investigation is helping the Whiteville Fire and Police departments investigate.
Interviews start Friday, the bakery’s fifth anniversary.