NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) – It took dozens of firefighters about three hours to extinguish a massive fire which tore through a strip mall in North Hollywood Monday morning.
The fire was reported at 5:30 a.m. at a one-story building built in the 1930s which houses five businesses in the 5200 block of Lankershim Boulevard, according to Los Angeles Fire Capt. Erik Scott.
Smoke and flames could be seen from miles around.
Tokyo Delves Sushi Bar appeared to have suffered the most damage of any of the businesses.
“I’ve spent the last five years working with my dad here, and I grew up here, so really emotional,” said Brianna Mira, whose parents own Tokyo Delve’s Sushi Bar.
At around 7 a.m., two men believed to be business owners got into an altercation at the scene of the fire and were arrested, witnesses told CBS2.
More than 113 firefighters battled the blaze, which was not knocked down until about 8:30 a.m. Firefighters were forced to take a more defensive position and use heavy streams of water to contain the flames.
“What we have here behind is a large row of one-story commercial buildings…very tall,” Scott told CBS2 during the height of the fire. “What we do have is approximately five of those businesses that are under flame-impingement at this point. We’ve called for waves of additional firefighters…this is what we call a major emergency structure fire.”
Crews remained on scene to clean up the debris and monitor for any hot spots. Lankershim Boulevard was shut down in both directions. People were asked to stay away from the area, Scott said.
The fire was able to spread quickly because it got into an attic shared by all five businesses, Scott explained.
“These are different types of businesses, from restaurants to pubs…they have a lot of different types of material inside — synthetics, tables, chairs — so there’s a heavy fire load inside,” Scott said.
The extent of the damage to each of the five businesses was not immediately known.
No injuries were reported. There was no immediate word on a cause. The LAFD arson team is investigating.