SAN BERNARDINO ( — The San Bernardino County Fire Department is conducting an arson investigation stemming from a fire that broke out Saturday at a Victorville strip mall.

Personnel were called to the scene of a vegetation and debris fire in the 15000 block of 7th Street around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The blaze later extended to a 14-unit strip mall and was upgraded to a third-alarm fire by 12:40 p.m., with 20 mph wind gusts pushing the flames into the attic of the structure.

Thirty-six county firefighters, with assistance from Apple Valley Fire Protection District, responded to the fire, which took approximately 45 minutes to bring under control.

Two abandoned businesses, the Trilogy Theater and the restaurant, were completely destroyed, with firefighters having to tear down the roof due to the threat of collapse. Two adjacent businesses, a former night club and a current antique store, received moderate damage.

A spokesperson for the department said investigators determined two transients were fighting when one of them lit a bed behind an unoccupied restaurant on fire. Both subjects fled the scene.

No injuries were reported.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact We-Tip at 800-47-ARSON (800-472-7766).

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