SAN GABRIEL (CBSLA) – A large two-alarm fire destroyed three restaurants in a San Gabriel strip mall Wednesday morning.
The fire was reported at 6:19 a.m. at Valley Boulevard and New Avenue, according to Verdugo Fire Communications Center dispatchers. Plumes of black smoke and flames could be seen shooting hundreds of feet into the air.
“Coming this way it almost looked like an aircraft had gone down,” witness Chester Weaver said.
San Gabriel Fire Department crews were battling the blaze when they realized the roof was about to give way and collapse.
“They had started to remove themselves, and it did go ahead and collapse, so at that point, we pulled everyone off,” San Gabriel Fire Division Chief Art Stafford told CBS2.
There were no reported injuries.
Three restaurants in the strip mall were destroyed, according to the fire department. They were closed at the time.
“From what I’ve heard there were some workers, but they were immediately evacuated,” San Gabriel Fire Division Chief Art Stafford told CBS2. “There were no businesses in operation at the time.”
The fire is believed to have started in an attic space.
Valley Boulevard was shut down in both directions between New and Prospect avenues for several hours. It reopened fully just before 2 p.m.
There was no immediate word on the cause of the blaze. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was called in to assist with the investigation.